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
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
swithoutviolence.org/ and the Albert Einstein Institution, http://www.aeinstein.org/
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
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?
* * * * *
Latest reader comment:
Readers are invited to respond to this question