Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The militarization of elementary school

Every Wednesday
Military shirts
Spring Branch T-2-4 Plan 
By 2017, SBISD will double the number of students completing a technical certificate or military training, two-year or four-year degree.
Pine Shadows Elementary School will support this plan by encouraging staff and students to wear a technical school, military shirt or two or four year college shirt/t-shirt every Wednesday, beginning September 4, 2013.
And so begins the indoctrination into unquestioning support of the military in our schools. I guess they have to learn somewhere that we should all cheer and support the murder of innocent men, women and children and the wanton destruction of property and land around the world. Who couldn't get behind that?

Our schools are for learning. Violence is the last resort of those who can't think of a better way to get what they want other than destroying someone or something. Shouldn't our goal be to get away from that kind of mindset? Shouldn't we be teaching our children why war is not the answer?

It's got to start somewhere. At some point we have to get away from trying to solve every problem with a gun or a bomb. Our role as stewards of the earth is to leave it in better shape than it was when we came along. Is perpetuating a war mentality the way to do that?

We've seen President Obama and the other cheerleaders for bombing Syria talk about the women and children who were killed by the alleged chemical weapon attack from their own government. Yes, we should be appalled. But where is the outrage over the innocent men, women and children who have died at the hands of American artillery and armaments? Where is the outrage over the scores of people killed by drone attacks who had absolutely nothing to do with any terrorist plot?

I'm pretty sure that won't be a topic on "wear your shirt supporting death and destruction" day at my daughters' school. I'm sure they won't be talking about the hundreds of thousands of people around the world killed as a result of our government's militaristic policies and support of right-wing dictatorships.

I cling to the belief that one day we will live in a world without war. I doubt I will see that day but I hope that someday my grandchildren or their children will live in that world. Encouraging unquestioning support of the military and war culture gets us nowhere near that goal.

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