Chicago Veterans for Peace launches billboard campaign to end the militarization of Chicago's schools... 'We, the Chicago Chapter of Veterans for Peace, are pursuing a many-pronged campaign to bring Peace at Home and Peace Abroad by focusing on youth and the demilitarization of public education'...

Chicago Veterans for Peace leaders Robert Lamont (left) and Arne Stieber (right) have spoken out against the militarization of Chicago's public schools since the Fall of 2013, when the organization began its campaign to "de-militarize" the nation's third largest school system. Above, Lamont and Stieber at the podium during the Board's February 24, 2016 meeting. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.The Veterans for Peace organization announced on March 14, 2016 that it was launching a campaign to end the militarization of Chicago's public schools. Members of the group have spoken at virtually every meeting of the Chicago Board of Education over the past few years, raising the same demand, but not one member of the Board has even asked them about their policy proposals.

The veterans organization will be sponsoring five billboards across town pushing the them "No Military in Chicago Public Schools. Education Not Militarization..." The billboards will be up from March through May 2016.


Chicago Chapter of Veterans for Peace... How: Military veterans from Chicago commence billboard campaign.


Rory Fanning: 312-415-2464,

Arny Stieber 734-216-1814,

Website: What: Demanding an end to the epidemic of militarization in Chicago Public Schools.

When: Monday, March 14, 2016 through May 2016

Where: Throughout Chicago

The Chicago Chapter of Veterans For Peace will be sponsoring billboards to confront the militarization epidemic sweeping the Chicago Public School system. The billboards will highlight the theme of Education Not Militarization.

One message is: No Military in Chicago Public Schools. Education Not Militarization. With a graphic and the above web site. The billboards are on a digital network and will circulate across Chicago - 5 different locations each week. For the week of 3/14 they will be at: 1. Clark and Waveland. East side of Clark, 350' north of Waveband. 2. Webster and Clybourn, on the NE corner. 3. Ogden and Madison, west side of Ogden, 40' north of Madison 4. Milwaukee and Chicago, west side of Milwaukee, 600' south of Chicago. 5. Chicago and Ashland, south side of Chicago. CPS is the most militarized school system in the nation with over 10,000 youth (50% Black 45% Latino) in some form of military training. From elementary to high school, these young people are being taught that the military model of conflict resolution by violence is the right way to resolve issues.

As veterans weve experienced the military from inside, and many of us have fought in one or more of our countrys all-too-frequent wars. Despite the common claims of recruiters, generals, corporate media and politicians, we can tell you that when the military is sent in they are there to dominate any person or group that is rightly, wrongly or unnecessarily identified as an enemy, and that the militarys core method is violence. Domination and violence, and consequently the military, have no place in the lives of our youth or in our schools. Our schools should teach cooperation, conflict resolution skills and restorative justice.

About Veterans for Peace... We, the Chicago Chapter of Veterans for Peace, are pursuing a many-pronged campaign to bring Peace at Home, Peace Abroad by focusing on youth and the demilitarization of public education. We've been speaking at every CPS Board of Education meeting since the fall of 2013.

ARNY STIEBER, Coordinator,

Join us!

Twitter @DeMilitarizeCPS

cell 734-216-1814 (voice & text) "Peace at Home, Peace Abroad" Veterans For Peace is an international 501(c)3 organization of military veterans and allies whose main purpose is to serve the cause of world peace. Founded in 1985, Veterans For Peace is the only veterans organization in the world that is recognized by the United Nations.


March 16, 2016 at 4:59 PM

By: bob gronko

veterans and schools

We, as citizens, parents, grandparents and military veterans, deserve to have some input into how our children and grandchildren are taught to respond to conflict. Veterans For Peace respectfully requests to be involved with focusing on conflict resolution in the Chicago Public School system. Thanks from a USMC veteran.

March 16, 2016 at 11:15 PM

By: Dennis R. Koehn, PhD

Military Training in Chicago Public Schools

The children of Chicago deserve an honorable and productive future. They will not find this in training for unjust and immoral American Wars, like we have seen the last dozen years. Let's eliminate training for peace through death!

March 17, 2016 at 12:22 AM

By: kevin merwin

creating a climate for peace

Why not join Veterans For Peace in their work to make a more peaceful city and world? For all you Substance readers out there: although VFP is founded by and run primarily by veterans, non-military persons may also join as associate members. I did, and it's been very good -- a growing, learning experience. Good stuff.

Like many others, I want to see a more peaceful city that embraces approaches other than the military model for solving our difficult and daunting social problems and divisions. We can make a better society if we come together and share our ideas and energies. In fact, that's the only way we will heal ourselves and our city.

Links to the VFP's websites can be found in the piece above. There are regular meetings and events. Contact the Chicago chapter via the info online and come on out-- you'll be glad you did.

March 17, 2016 at 8:40 AM

By: Paul Appell

militarization of CPS

I still feel every blow that a mother gave me after I told her that her only son was killed in Viet Nam. When one of my men was killed in Viet Nam, I felt the phantom blows again. I felt them when a good Afghanistan multi tour friend hanged himself. Each blow always tells me waste, waste, waste. As a former officer in a Special Forces group, I know that in a training situation one gets to do some exciting fun stuff. The seduction of doing the fun stuff and being able to play god is too much for some of the young. All five of my grandkids go to CPS, so this is personal. Thanks so much for all you VFP Chicago members are doing.

March 18, 2016 at 8:36 AM


Militarization of CPS

Part of mission of Veterans For Peace is to "increase public awareness of the costs of war". The costs are many and diverse. War kills plants, animals, people and the earth. The government spends over $600M/yr on promotion of the military - telling us over and over that the military model of conflict resolution by violence is "the American way" and "patriotic". is a VFP initiative to raise awareness of the costs of war by focusing on Chicago youth. Our youth are too precious to waste on the military.

March 22, 2016 at 6:20 PM

By: Rod Estvan

Is JROTC really the problem

Chicagos Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) if I recall correctly started in 1917. My father was a member in the 1920s at the old Lane Tech High School then located on Division and Sedgwick streets. He later honorably served our nation in WWII in our war against fascism as did hundreds of other former CPS students. He committed no war crimes.

I too was in the JROTC at old Robert A. Waller High School, now Lincoln Park HS. I later was in the ROTC program at the University of North Dakota and I never supported the war in Vietnam as a result of those experiences. In fact I do not believe Lincoln Park HS even has a memorial to those former Waller students lost in Vietnam, I doubt any CPS high school does. According to the war records 955 service members from Chicago died in the Vietnam War and their names appear on the Memorial in Washington DC. About 10 that I know of went to Waller High School with me.

I respectfully do not share the perspective of those combat veterans posting that the JROTC program in CPS should be abolished in total, I have deep reservations, however, about the exclusive military high schools. Overall the JROTC program does not brain wash students into war young machines, each student is capable of thinking for themselves regardless of military training and doctrine. It also does not in any way fast track these kids into a commission even as a reserve officer, many do not have the ACT or SAT scores to even get in the door of a US service academy or the academic preparation to graduate from a college using the ROTC scholarship and become commissioned. So there are problems without question as to what the JROTC in CPS is about.

Lt. William Calley an officer in the Americal Division who was found guilty of murdering 22 unarmed South Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, attended Miami Edison High School which did and does have a JROTC program. There is zero evidence that this played any role in what he did. In 2009 Calley said this: There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai. I feel remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.... If you are asking why I did not stand up to them when I was given the orders, I will have to say that I was a 2nd Lieutenant getting orders from my commander and I followed themfoolishly, I guess.

War is not a game and probably a more useful effort for the current generation would be trying to abolish the game Call of Duty: Black Ops and others that have gamers perpetrate war crimes. Illegal criminal orders given by a commander be they a Captain, Major, or god forbid a President Trump are still illegal as Calley even admitted in 2009. By the way the best essay I ever read on Calley was written by Philip Beidler titled Calleys Ghost and can be read at

Rod Estvan

March 25, 2016 at 10:14 PM

By: Mike Woloshin

De-Militarization of Chicago Schools

As a Vietnam veteran (USN, Yankee Station, 1969-1970), I share the concerns of my fellow VFP members about the military indoctrination of our children. The United Nations enacted a Resolution against the use of under-aged "child soldiers," which should be internationally respected. Whether to enlist in the Armed Forces requires a well informed and intelligent decision which many teens are ill equipped to make while still in middle, or high school. Such momentous decisions should not be colored by military indoctrination of Junior R.O.T.C. Our youth must be able to experience life before making the decision to serve in wars which may, or may not, be justified as necessary to the nation's defense. The war in which I served was an "unnecessary war of choice," not a "defensive war of necessity," as was World War II, our last Congressionally Declared war.

March 29, 2016 at 12:18 PM

By: Frank T Fitzgerald

Military in CPS

Our educational system, from elementary school through high school, should be devoted college prep, career prep, life prep, not to military prep. Take note that 10 percent of CPS high schoolers are spending a good part of their day and focus on military activities. Also take note that elementary students as young as 11 years old are being recruited as cadets. If the military were so attractive, if it did such universally wonderful things, the pentagon would't need its massive advertising arm and it wouldn't need to recruit our children. Leave the kids alone -- at least until they are near adults and can make informed decisions about their future! But we all know that is not a current option, and we know why it isn't: Just as precious few young people don't start smoking once they reach near adulthood, few near adults would join the military. And given our recent decades of undeclared wars of choice that have killed millions but brought peace and prosperity nowhere, that would be a good thing.

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