Tabling at RMHS January 5, 2015

Your intrepid reporter on the ground at Rolling Meadows High School is handing out candy and asking students “What has the U.S. war in Afghanistan accomplished? (October 7, 2001 – December 28, 2014)”  The first student to stop by answered, "Not much."  A security guy claimed that at first the U.S. gave the Afghans freedom from the Taliban and should have left then. The students are smarter and admit they have no clue.  Nobody knew why the U.S. had invaded Afghanistan in the first place.

A student who has already enlisted in the Marines came by. He is going to go kill people and feel good about himself, he said. Bragged that he is "a one-sided thinker." I think the young man sadly lacks a moral compass. He is probably perfect for the Marines.  Will take orders without asking questions.

Towards the end of the day a couple of young men came over and got candy and peace patches. One of them came back with a young girl and she got candy and patches too. Then another girl came and got patches. So, several students are now roaming the halls of RMHS with peace patches on their shirts.  Maybe they'll prompt some good discussions.  Peace out!


Community Resource Fair October 15, 2014

Every year District 214 hosts a community resource fair at the Forest View Education Center. The purpose of the fair is to connect District 214 teachers and staff to resources in the community - social service organizations, advocacy groups, etc. We participated this year, bringing copies of our brochures and business cards for distribution.

We gave away all of our brochures on alternative careers. A counselor from Rolling Meadows took a stack of brochures in Spanish on "The Military's Not Just A Job: It's Eight Years of Your Life". She works primarily with Latino students and parents. We hope she shares the brochures with the parents.

There seemed to be a lot of interest if measured by how quickly the materials disappeared from our table. On the whole, the response has not been overwhelming but has been excellent. Helpful for building our credibility with faculty and staff.




tabling at RMHS October 7, 2014

I did have a nice chat with a young man at Rolling Meadows High School.  His name is Jimmy.  He wants to be a police officer when he grows up.  He said he was going to go into the Navy, which will give him experience he needs to prepare for a career in law enforcement, and when he got out he would go to college, major in criminal justice, and then become a policeman.  He was a really sweet young man.  I told him that the best preparation for the police academy was to go to college and earn a degree--at least an associate's degree--in criminal justice.  NOT the Navy.  That degree makes you a very desirable commodity.  I learned this when my ex-niece was finishing her degree in criminal justice and planning to become a police officer.  Chicago PD did not snap her up fast enough, so Dallas PD wooed and won her.  She was told by police officers (before she finished her degree) that such a degree was the most desirable path to the police academy.  Jimmy obviously had been hearing a recruiter's spiel.  I very respectfully gave him a different perspective.  I asked him to come back to see me next month.  I told him that getting GI bill benefits from the Navy was not automatic if he joined; I explained how it works.  How he'll be better off going to college out of high school and not risk spending eight years being shot at and killing people.  I like Jimmy.  He seemed to be listening to me.  I hope I'll see him again.  If I manage to influence Jimmy away from the military and toward education, all my time with NWSUBPEP and sitting at peace tables will be worth it.


tabling at EGHS September 18

My table was quite busy today; I probably spoke with, at least, 20+ students.

I found the following interesting: I asked each student I spoke with how they felt about ISIS and what POTUS is proposing…not one student agreed we should be there…some were very vocal at how much they were against our going back to the Middle East in any way!


tabling at WHS 9/8/2014

This was our first visit of the year. Since September 21 is the International Day of Peace we decided to build peace cranes as we've done in the past. The theme for peace day this year is "The Right of Peoples to Peace". We had quite a few students stop and take origami paper and instructions to build their own crane. Some already knew how. One young man created an origami heart; another young woman created an origami flower. The origami crane has become an international symbol of peace through the sad story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl. She was born in 1943 and was only two years old when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. At the age of 11 she develped Leukemia which people in Japan referred to as the "atom bomb disease". While in the hospital she was told an old Japanese leged which said that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes would be granted a wish. Sadako hoped that by folding the paper cranes she would get well again. So she began making the cranes and completed over 1000 before dying on October 25, 1955.

We also had a sociology teacher stop by and express an interest in having someone from our group talk to her class. We gave her all our contact information.


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