NWSUBPEP Blog

Tabling at PHS February 3, 2015

Although we had decided at the beginning of the school year not to return to Prospect this year, we changed our mind after analyzing the opt-out statistics and realizing that they had pretty much remained stagnant. Also with the re-entry to Afghanistan (as though we ever left!) and the chaos in Iraq, it seemed appropriate.

But there wasn't a lot of traffic at the table. I talked to several students and several more grabbed suckers as they rushed to class. We were asking students to respond to the following question: "What has the U.S. war in Afghanistan (October 7, 2001 to December 28, 2014) accomplished?" One young woman summed it up succintly - "I have absolutely no idea".

I enjoyed a long discussion with one of the security guards; an African-American man that has been there for many years. He is a certified teacher and has been trying to get a teaching position in the District for years. At the same time they talk about increasing the diversity of their teaching staff they won't hire him to teach social studies. Strange? Do you think race has anything to do with it?

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Tabling at WHS January 13, 2015

I was struck by the United Nations character at the school. The display case next to my table showing students of the month featured Hispanic surnames, African, Italian, Eastern European. Students were speaking Spanish and Polish in the hallways.

I had made stickers with my favorite Martin Luther King Jr anti-war quote "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom." I was able to pass out quite a few stickers. I was not, however, able to get anyone to fill out one of the questionnaires asking the question "What has the U.S. war in Afghanistan (October 7, 2001 to December 28, 2014) accomplished?" But it's the day before finals. The students seemed distracted and a bit squirrely. I also noticed that since the school has started giving all the students tablets, they spend a lot of time fiddling with their electronic devices. So it appears we aren't getting the students that wandered over to our table out of boredom.

All the District 214 schools have a police officer roaming the halls. I found out today that the guns they carry are real guns; not tasers. I just assumed they were tasers since they're in a school. That's disturbing.

Libby

 

 

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!

Lynne

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.

Lynne

 

 

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.

Lynne

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