First day back at school for the new school year. The students seem louder than I remember!

There was a lot of discussion about Syria; among the students and the staff. I have yet to find anyone (outside of the idiots in Washington D.C.) that think invading Syria is a good thing.

Trying to promote our upcoming forum on drones. A number of students took flyers. It’s still three weeks away so not sure how many will remember.

libby

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Very quiet today. Spent a few minutes in serious discussion. Probably too nice out; looks like fewer kids are here.

Last school day is June 6 – early this year.

Esther

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Talked to a number of students today and got several to share their thoughts on gun violence – what should we do about it. One young man, who also has two older brothers at Wheeling, said his family moved from the Logan Square neighborhood shortly after someone was shot on their block. I’ve talked to several students who have moved to the suburbs to escape the violence. One young woman actually is living with a cousin and can only see her mother on weekends.

Just as I was getting ready to pack up, the school librarian walked by and stopped to talk. He was very glad to see us and said we could post information on the library bulletin board. There were guidelines, obviously, but he would like to support our cause.

I understand Wheeling is getting a new principal. She starts in July.

Libby

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Beautiful spring day and so many students were outside; enjoying the weather. Can’t say I blame them. But I did get a few students to share their thoughts about gun violence. Hopefully by next fall we will have raised enough money to publish a new zine.

Long talk with an older man that often subs at BG. (By “older” I mean Vietnam era). He is definitely anti-war and was lamenting the fact that the students he has in his US History class right now know nothing about the Vietnam war. With such ignorance we are forced to repeat our mistakes.

Libby

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Got several students interested in filling out our survey about gun violence. One young man believes that teachers and administrators should be allowed to have firearms. (Yikes!) He thinks that if the teacher is willing and has been trained, it should be allowed. And that led us to a discussion about psychiatric medications. He told us about a YouTube video called “Dead Wrong: How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child”. Definitely worth watching.

One young man asked for a peace button. When I asked him what he planned to do after high school (he’s a senior this year) he told us he was joining the Navy. We laughed about wearing the peace button when he reports for basic training. We talked a bit about his choice. I told him to be careful.

Libby & Nancy

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As part of Women’s History Month we showed a slide show of all the women that have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since the war(s) began. This, on the heels of the Pentagon’s announcement to allow women in combat. As if they haven’t already been dying!
We shared a table with some students having a bake sale to raise money for AVID. Hard to compete with a bake sale. And there was no electrical outlet by our table so eventually my laptop died. Then there was a girl fight so . . .
Too many distractions; not a particularly productive day.

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One of our regulars stopped by and told me that she will be entering UIC in the fall; majoring in gender studies. I tried to get her to write something about gun violence for our information survey but she is swamped right now. Several female students willingly filled out a form.

A number of students stopped by to ask about selective service. Most wanted to know if they needed to register. They need to register when they turn 18 but in Illinois (and 39 other states) you are automatically registered for selective service when you apply for a driver’s license. We take it for granted that most young men get a driver’s license but that’s not always the case.

There was a girl fight in the hallway not too far from our table. That was the excitement for the day.

Libby

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I think BGHS has the most injuries and the worst cafeteria food. But I suppose that’s irrelevant; just an observation.

Very quiet at the table today. I thought there would be a bit more traffic because the weather outside was so nasty.

Long talk with a young man who said  he had observed our table for all the four years he was in school (he is a Senior) and finally decided to come by and see what we were about. He is in NJROTC; plans to attend university in Texas after graduation on a NJROTC scholarship; then join the Navy. He took a brochure that has the questions to ask recruiters. (Probably a little late for that, but whatever).

The lady from the attendance office stopped by to see what new buttons we had and to thank us for being there.

Short chat with one of the security guys. He was wondering if they would make women register for selective service now that they are being allowed in combat. Interesting question; something I’ve wondered about as well.

Libby

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Since January marked the 40th year since the draft was eliminated we decided to do a little history lesson on selective service and the draft. We had the lottery from 1972 and the students got involved finding their birthdate and what their lottery number would have been. Pity the poor soul that was born March 6 – their lottery number was 1. The students had heard about the draft but most were unaware of the lottery or how it worked.

We also were polling the students about the issue of gun control – what they thought should be done. Several students recorded their comments. I had a very long talk with one student who is a gun enthusiast and is all upset about the government taking away his 2nd amendment rights. However, when pressed he believes there should be tighter background checks and tighter control at gun shows.

Libby

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I think the poster of Martin Luther King caught the students’ eyes today – maybe because they realize they have next Monday off? Not sure. I put out any materials I had on peace including the “Wage Peace” bracelets which one girl took and promised to wear proudly.

One teacher stopped by and chatted for a bit. He took one of our cards so I hope we hear from him soon.

Libby

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