JROTC to Target Many More Schools

SAM DIENER: JROTC, a high school program to militarize youth in high schools, wants to invade hundreds more schools. It has already invaded almost 3,400. Congress passed a little-noticed measure in the 2009 National Defense Authorization bill to expand the number of JROTC schools to 3,700 by 2020. To do this, the military will have to open at least 45 new JROTC units per year. (Some schools drop the program each year, most often because of low student participation rates. In 2006, for example, Santa Barbara high school dropped its JROTC program due to high costs and low participation rates.

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.