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Vets for Peace asks Chicago Board of Education to 'de-militarize' CPS

[Editor's Note: At the September 25, 2013 meeting of the Chicago Board of Education, Vets for Peace asked the Board during public presentation to "demilitarize itself." Substance practice is to ask selected speakers at public participation to provide us with an original electronic copy of their remarks, which are limited to two minutes. The prepared remarks that people share with us are sometimes different from those actually spoken to the Board].

September 25, 2013

My name is ARNY STIEBER. I live in Hyde Park. Im a father, grandfather, a retired businessperson, a military veteran (Army, infantry, Viet Nam) and the President of the Chicago chapter of Veterans For Peace.

Arny Stieber of Veterans for Peace asked the Chicago Board of Education to "demilitarize" itself during remarks to the September 25, 2013 meeting of the Board. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.As I stood on the street watching the Memorial Day parade, I was struck by the legions of young, mostly black males marching behind their JROTC banners. There were hundreds, maybe a thousand. I suspect they werent from the north side. They were being taught that they can get recognition by being in the military.

The crowds cheered, the flags waved, proud parents stood and watched. What most didnt see was the long run result. The children were being taught that the military solution to conflict that is, death and destruction - is the American way. We dont send in the Marines to have dialogue. We dont drop bombs, shoot rockets and invade countries to learn about their needs.

The U.S. has a culture of violence and much of it stems from our promotion of the military and its joined at the head partner - violence.

CPS is the most militarized school system in the country. The myth is that the military teaches discipline. The reality is that the military teaches people to be pawns to follow orders without question, to do as you are told.

If we truly want our children to be the best that they can be, then school must be the place to teach them to think, to teach them to question, to teach them to explore . . . . . not march like lemmings.

On behalf of the children and the long run future of this city and this country, stand against the culture of violence, set a national example, . . . . de-militarize CPS.

Thank you.

[Veterans For Peace is a nationwide 501(c)3 organization, founded in 1985. The President of the Chicago Chapter is Arnold Stieber. He was in the Army, infantry, Viet Nam. He can be reached at stiebera@aol.com, or cell 734-216-1814.]



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