Peace Academy Replaces ROTC

MARY JOHNSTON-DE LEON: Chapter 54 of the Veterans for Peace (VFP) in Santa Barbara, California, is proud to announce the birth of a new entity at Santa Barbara High School: the Peace Academy. The new academy replaces the high school’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), which was closed down because of lack of enrollment. The counter-recruitment arm of the VFP chapter, which educates youth on military recruiting, had a lot to do with the closure. But because the JROTC filled a need for many under-served youth in our community, a gap was created by its dissolution.

Israeli Teens Break Law, Refuse to Serve, Explain Why

PEACEWORK MAGAZINE: In the spring of 2008, a group of high school seniors followed in the tradition of earlier teenaged Israeli conscientious objectors (traditionally referred to as the shministim) and publicly declared their refusal to serve in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) as required by law. Four women COs, signatories of the 2008 high school seniors’ refusal letter, have been sentenced to brief prison terms this fall, and may face further punishment. Others will be sentenced soon. For updates, visit the campaign’s Facebook page (search for “shministim”) or visit www.gush-shalom.org.

Coming to a Mall Near You: High Tech Recruiting

STUDENT PEACE ACTION NETWORK: “This is so cool! This is so cool,” the enthralled 13 year-old kept repeating as he squeezed rounds from his M-16, picking off “enemy combatants” while perched on a real Army Humvee. We’re in the new Army Experience Center in suburban Philadelphia and the young teen, who doesn’t look older than eleven, was obviously impressed with the Army’s killing machines. “I just came to the mall to skateboard in the skate park across the hall but everyone said this was pretty cool. I just had to try it and its great!”

Maryland Fails to Protect Students’ Privacy from Military

PAT ELDER: Maryland has failed to enact legislation to protect the privacy of students who take Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) in Maryland’s public schools.The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, (ASVAB) is the military’s entrance exam that is given to fresh recruits to determine their aptitude for various military occupations. The test is also used as a recruiting tool in 182 high schools throughout Maryland and in11, 900 schools across the country. The four-hour test is used by military recruiting services to gain valuable information on more than 600,000 high school students every year. In most cases, students take the test without parental knowledge or consent.

There is a Field

CHARLES BUSCH: Fields of Peace is a response to what is happening in today’s Global Village: the awareness of people throughout the world that they are part of an immense, intimate whole; and that to injure a neighbor is to injure oneself. Governments can’t respond to this; their understanding is subject to borders. It is our religions that know about oneness and the power of love; and it is out of the smallness of local congregations that this world change will happen.