"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Militarization of Chicago Schools and Beyond

George Schmidt has been writing in his brave tabloid, Substance, for some time about the growing influence of the military in the public schools of Chicago. Now the mainstream media is starting to notice, and with Congress lifting the cap on such programs, the urban military school offers an unprecedented opportunity for Washington to develop a steady stream of trained recruitment targets for continuing war plans and other follies of empire.

These new military schools are mostly black and brown, and poor, you understand. Who needs a draft when you can starve potential recruits into the Army? Last week 6,000 people showed up in Cleveland to apply for 300 Walmart jobs. And in Chicago, itself?
In Illinois recently, Masten said, 25,000 and 15,000 people applied at two Wal-Mart stores in the Chicago area, and neither of those is a large Supercenter.

Here's another clip on the school militarization from AFP:

CHICAGO (AFP) — Dozens of teens dressed in uniforms provided by the US Marines stand at attention in the gym of a Chicago public high school as a drill sergeant goes through a list of the day's do's and don'ts.

Bring your books to class. Come for extra help if you need it. And wear your uniform with pride.

"Young men, you think you can get a haircut and say I'm done for two or three weeks. WRONG," Sgt. Major Thomas Smith Jr. intones.

"Young ladies. There's been no problem with your uniforms but there is a problem with your ties. Again, I will go through it again. Wear your ties when you come to my class."

One in 10 public high school students in Chicago wears a military uniform to school and takes classes -- including how to shoot a gun properly -- from retired veterans.

That number is expected to rise as junior military reserve programs expand across the country now that a congressional cap of 3,500 units has been lifted from the nearly century-old scheme.

Proponents of the junior reserve programs say they provide stability and a sense of purpose for troubled youth and help to instill values such as leadership and responsibility.

But opponents say the programs divert critical resources from crumbling public schools and lead to a militarization of US society. . . .

1 comment:

  1. That's awful about all those people showing up for crappy jobs at Wal-Mart. What the hell is happening in this country?

    Hopefully people will wake up and stop voting for the people who enable such things.