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Removing Violence from Chicago Public Schools
an article by Arny Stieber, coordinator, Chicago Veterans for Peace

Every month, the Chicago Chapter of Veterans For Peace speaks to the Chicago school board. Chicago is the most militarized school system in the U.S. with 10,000 children learning the that the military model of conflict resolution by violence is the "American way".

click on photo to enlarge

TO: Chicago Board of Education and Rahm Emanuel

My name is Arny Stieber. I’m a grandfather, retired CEO with an MBA, and an Army infantry veteran from the U.S. war against the people of Viet Nam.

I’m here today to speak to you about an uncomfortable truth – the military teaches violence. I’ll say that again – the military teaches violence. Whether it’s wrapped in a flag, or called “hero”, or “service”, or dressed in a uniform with bright metals and ribbons – the military model is conflict resolution by violence, and following orders “without question”. Good people are taught, and ordered, to do bad things.

I'm sure you are all well intended, but teaching the military model to 10,000 of our children is counterproductive not only to the children, but to this city and our nation.

Instead of the military model I encourage you to explore nonviolence as an educational discipline. Check out http://www.future and the Albert Einstein Institution,

Martin Luther King Jr., after visiting with gang leaders and hearing them say that they use the same methods as the military to solve conflicts, said "I knew that I could never again raise my voice against violence without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government".

You are part of that government. I urge you to lead by example, as Martin Luther King Jr. did. Teach our children nonviolence vs. the military model.

Veterans For Peace is an international 501(c)3 organization founded in U.S. in 1985.


Question(s) related to this article:

A curriculum on nonviolence, Is there one being used in a school?

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This report was posted on November 6, 2014.