Tag Archives: counter recruiting

Parent-Teacher High School Conference Night–NYC November 2018

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On Parent-Teacher Conference night parents have the opportunity to meet with their child’s teacher to discuss her his progress in the class. It is also an opportunity for volunteers to distribute educational informational flyers to parents. The informational flyers address Options for Life After HS as well as Questions to Ask Military Recruiters. In spite of the cold & wind that evening, volunteers were at 12 high schools throughout the 5 boroughs and distributed approximately 2,400 flyers.

Parents appreciated the information provided on each flyer. A thank you, a nod of acceptance, or question might be asked to the volunteers.

  • A volunteer reports that several parents said ‘awesome’ when told what information the flyer was offering & the value of the information.
  • Another volunteer noted that parents appeared glad to receive the information even those whose child was wearing JROTC uniform.
  • One team notes that it was simply a great night for us – freezing cold and grateful kids.

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To learn more about the action and to download the flyers go to our Counter Recruitment page. Scroll down to P-T night info and you can print a copy of the flyers. We will be back at the high schools in April for Spring Parent-Teacher Conference night, and hope you will join us then.

Barbara Harris
for the Granny Peace Brigade

JROTC, Discipline and Children Playing Soldier

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Is it good for to children dress up like soldiers and march around with mock rifles? Should they be doing this in our schools?

We say no, but some say yes.

Wednesday, January 31 – Seven of us were outside New York City Council offices asking Council Members to stop allotting 1.5 million of our tax dollars each year to the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) programs in NYC schools. We want City Council to move the money to programs that help students develop into strong, creative, resourceful adults.

Two career military men stopped to talk. The first thanked us for being there saying we were doing a good thing. The second military man who had worked as a recruiter and also with JROTC was angry. He said the JROTC program was good for kids because it gave them discipline. He talked about discipline a lot. We’ve heard that defense of JROTC from many other people who are passionate and sincere.

I want kids to have discipline too. But it should come from inside them like in Marie Curie or Rosa Parks or Laura Poitras or these gals in yellow.

– Eva-Lee Baird with Barbara H, Eleanor, Joan, Nancy, Nydia, Pat
for the Granny Peace Brigade

STUDENTS NOT SOLDIERS – Grannies Hit the Streets

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Last month, the Granny Peace Brigade walked up 5th Avenue with Vets for Peace in the Veterans Day commemorations. As usual, we were virtually at the end, followed by high schoolers, both boys and girls, proudly marching in proper soldier form, from various J-ROTC (Junior Reserve Officer Training) groups In the city. Teens marching as soldiers, sometimes with mock rifles, is not our vision for these children.
And so we were at City Hall once again on 30 November, a day all city councilors would be present, to continue our campaign to get the military out of our schools.

$1.5 million of NYC taxpayer money is spent on J-ROTC. The balance funded by the Defense Department. Our vision for these young students is a well-rounded education. Too many of our high schools no longer have sports, music, art, vocational-skills classes, all of which also teach discipline, team-work, communicating and other skills.

Join us on 7 December at City Hall, first on the streets at 12 noon and then to a session of the City Council Education Committee.

STUDENTS NOT SOLDIERS

Marty Rajandran with Ann, Barbara H., Eva-Lee, Joan, Regina, Nydia and Phyllis
Parade photos: Bud Korotzer
City Hall Photos: Eva-Lee Baird

Students not Soldiers – Parent Teacher Conference Night Action 11-09-2017

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Volunteer activists and parents attending Parent Teacher Conference night met briefly in front of 12 NYC public high schools. Parents were at the school for a scheduled conference with their child’s teacher, and volunteers were distributing 2 flyers providing anti-military educational information. Parents accepted the flyers with much appreciation.

Questions to Ask – Points to Consider Before Enlisting offers questions to be asked military recruiters as well as responses to the information and ‘promises’ made to students. This helps families and youth better understand the recruiting jargon and to not accept misleading information. Leave our kids alone.
The Non-Military Options for Life After High School flyer gives families a helping hand to survey many college websites, resources for job skills training, technical and trade programs, financial aid, and scholarship opportunities. Parents appreciated receiving this flyer.
It became obvious that parents do not want their children to enlist. Many expressed an anti-war message. This is an action where you realize how many want to end war and provide a non-military educational experiences for their children during their years in high school.

At John F Kennedy, Jr. High School a male volunteer had the opportunity to talk for several minutes with a group of five male teenagers. One of these young men was considering a military career, but decided to think about it more deeply after he told him, “Trump wants you.” He also asked them, “Do you want to fight their wars?” Rod gave them a role model.
A mother offered a sign of relief. I’ll look at the Options websites with my child. I wanted info about City College financial aid. We were confused, and I haven’t received any assistance from the guidance counselor.
A volunteer chatted with one teacher who was interested in our materials, took 4 copies and promised to distribute them to her students – it doesn’t get better than that.

Volunteers receive gratitude from parents for the information. All who volunteered, although they had little time for conversation with parents, made a difference. It is appreciated when someone cares about their child’s future, is willing to stand in front of the High School, and generously reaches out with educational information and advice they rarely receive.

Thanks to the volunteers for their commitment to this action – to provide families with non-military educational information and options. We will be back at the high schools March, 2018. Keep posted – perhaps you will join us at that time.

Students not Soldiers!

Barbara Harris
for the Granny Peace Brigade

NYC Parent Teacher Conference Night – Spring 2017

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NYC Parent Teacher Conference Night provides an opportunity to bring non-military alternatives and educational opportunities to families.  On the evening of March 23, 2017, volunteers were at 11 high schools handing out 2 flyers to parents as they arrived to meet with their child’s teachers. Flyer information includes websites for colleges, training programs, community service, scholarships and financial aid as well as questions to ask recruiters in order to better understand the hype of enlistment promises and military service requirements.

With just a few words, “Consider non-military alternatives to the military for your child, check out the many websites, learn more about financial aid and the many opportunities available for your child” parents accept the information often with a thank you included.

Several parents stop to speak with volunteers for more information or to share their thoughts.
One parent commented that there had been some kind of assembly to inform parents about this, but that it was perfectly useless. She was so happy to have all the info in the palm of her hand.

One mother told a volunteer that her son was approached by recruiters as he got out of the subway at the 125th St station on his way home from school. The mom said the recruiters gave her son appealing stuff, for example, a water bottle. Her son seemed to be considering enlisting and she was concerned.

A mother who had been approached by recruiters when she was in dental assistant school never knew how the recruiters got her personal contact info. She said they were persistent. She didn’t want recruiters to be taking to her kid.

The reward of meeting a parent and hearing ‘Thank you for helping me understand and providing information’ is the reward volunteers receive. And thanks to all the volunteers for their time, effort and commitment to providing non-military alternatives to families – you have made a difference.

We hope you will join us in November when we will bring our message and information to parents at NYC high schools again.

Students not Soldiers,
Barbara Harris
Photos: Eva-Lee Baird

for the Granny Peace Brigade

Ms Gizmo at the East Harlem Youth Fair

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Thursday, July 21st the granny Peace Brigade brought our Fund School Educational Programs message to the East Harlem Youth Fair. Our table attracted 74 gamers, mostly students, to participate in the Ms. Gizmo Penny Poll. They were asked to considered the programs they would like to see in their schools, by distributing the 20 pennies they were given to select their choices. The  Ms. Gizmo cylinders filled up as they considered their interests and needs.

Youth Fair Ms. Gizmo 7-20016

Once again it was a rewarding experience for all as well as an opportunity to speak with the community youth and hear what matters to them and why.

The GPB  message: It’s time to reallocate the $1.5 million funding for Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) in 18 NYC high schools to  programs students want and need. No to JROTC military programs.  We support peaceful educational alternatives.

2016_07_21_youthfair_pie_chart
Click for a larger image.

Here are the results of the penny poll which focused on student’s educational interests and needs.

Peace,
– Barbara H, Nydia, Edith, Marty, Barbara W, Joan, Nancy
– for the Granny Peace Brigade

Let’s Plug the School-to-Military Pipeline

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These Grannies Are Helping to Plug the School-to-Military Pipeline at Its Source

When teachers are underpaid and schools are underserved, why do we pay veterans to encourage young students to join the military?
By Joyce Chu
May 11, 2016

On a Wednesday afternoon last month, a group of gray-haired women with canes and Styrofoam guns lined the streets outside the New York City Department of Education’s headquarters in Brooklyn. “Get the military out of our schools!” they shouted, capturing pedestrians’ attention. “No more JROTC!” These were the courageous women of the Granny Peace Brigade, and they were there to protest what they see as the militarization of the city’s public schools.  (Read more)

Joyce Chu, An intern at THE NATION, wrote this article about ending the military presence in U.S. public schools.  She researched the topic thoroughly and highlighted the Granny Peace Brigade as well as Veterans for Peace (VFP) and Project on Youth and Non-Military Options (YANO) explaining our opposition to funding JROTC programs (Junior Reserve Officer Training Candidate) in high schools throughout the country.

2016_04_13signsFor about eight years the GPB has been a part of a campaign here in New York City to expose and to eliminate JROTC funding. An annual allocation of about $1.5 million of NYC taxpayer dollars goes to JROTC thus, depriving students of much needed programs in areas such as Arts and Music, Sports, Counseling, After-school Clubs and others.

This is a comprehensive view of a military program that, as Ms. Chu writes in it  “JROTC programs and military recruitment are strongest in poor and rural communities where there is less economic opportunity.”

Special thanks to Ms. Chu for her article and to our own Barbara Harris for her unwavering work on this issue.

– Nydia Leaf with her Anti-Militarization Committee sisters
for the Granny Peace Brigade

“Get JROTC out of Schools” – Demo at 65 Court St

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"Get JROTC out of the schools"" at 65 Court St Brooklyn
Photo: Danya Abt

Corinne, Joan, Nydia, Betty, Eva-Lee, Barbara H, Carol and Ryoko outside the NYC Board of Education offices at 65 Court Street in Brooklyn. Our message — tell City Council to get the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps out of NYC high schools. Read more about JROTC: A Recruitment Tool In 18 New York City High Schools.

2016_04_13signsA young man saw me carrying signs to the demonstration and said, “You know? I was in JROTC when I was in high school.” I asked him why he joined and he told me he needed an extra curricular activity for his transcript. Then he added, “But I didn’t go into the military. I didn’t want to go to war to steal somebody else’s oil.” I’m glad he made that decision. Not all students do.

Dear New Yorkers, Please call your City Council person and ask her or him to de-fund the JROTC programs in NYC schools. Find the name and number of your City Council Representative here.

— Eva-Lee  Baird
for the GPB

No Military Rifles in NYC schools!

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The Granny Peace Brigade, joined by Kevin Augustine of Clarion Call, protested at 250 Broadway, the offices of the NYC City Council, on the planned city budget allocation of around $1.5 million for the US government’s military program of JROTC classes in 18 New York City High Schools. Funds are also provided under the federal military budget. (Click on thumbnails for larger images.)

Kevin’s silent presence in front of the building set a poignant note. He was dressed as a hobo grunt, a combination of a sad tattered clown and part weary homeless veteran, with several dummy/bodies lying at his feet. Clarion Call, with whom he volunteers,  is a street-based pantomime promoting peace. The silent veteran reflects the thought that “actions speak louder than words.”

Looking at his sad face, one sees a familiar classic clown: Emmett Kelly. Kevin himself is the son of a veteran, who sadly took his own life when Kevin was only 12, one of the thousands of veterans committing suicide each year.

We were together asking questions. Should we as tax-payers permit the military to teach JROTC classes and sell the Army story? Where’s the balance of information on the realities around life in the military?  How much better could these funds be used? Teaching of peaceful ways of dealing with conflict/conflict resolution? Arts? Music? Books? Computers? or even just making our schools safer…..and cleaner. Do we really want our schools to be making “boy and girl soldiers?” If NO, do call your city councilor.

Granny Peace Brigade: Eva-Lee, Joan, Edith, Barbara W., Nancy, Nydia, Tibby, Phyllis, Marty, with Kevin Augustine of Clarion Call

– Story and photos by Marty Rajandran

Dear NY City Council: Don’t spend $1.5 million on Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps

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Friends,
On Wednesday, March 25th,  I gave testimony urging NY City Council members to vote to eliminate the approximately $1.5 million tax levy allocation for the the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)  program in 18 New York City public high schools.

Newyorkcityhall

Representing the Granny Peace Brigade and 22 supporting organizations, my testimony asked the council to re-direct the funds to better serve current underfunded educational programs, as well as the reduced or eliminated after school programs.  The Committee on Education can find far better uses for $1.5 million taxpayerdollars than supporting a military program that s developed by the Pentagon.  With little  transparency or lack of oversight of curriculum or goals achieved, the military delivers the wrong message to our high school students.

For many reasons, JROTC should not be subsidized by NYC taxpayers. My testimony provided details on the disturbing aspects of the program.  Briefly here are the major issues.  Download the full testimony.

1/Cost of the program ($1.5 M), military instructors educational requirements, lack of NYC teacher credentials and requisite qualification, yet receiving salaries equal to licensed teachers. Each school hires 2 instructors for each class.

2/The Program  focuses on military values and hierarchy, the ideas of soldiering, following commands, fitness and drills. Curriculum is developed by the military and presents a partisan pro-military view of historical, political,and moral issues.

3/Teaching approach promulgates a highly authoritarian approach, discourages criticism, and glorifies the unbroken chin of command.  This curriculum does not belong in public schools.

4/Weapons – JROTC sends the wrong message about weapons.  Students cannot bring weapons of any sort into school, but they can read and learn about handling them in JROTC textbooks. JROTC students carry rifles into HS  assembles, during parades and drill team events.

5/Anti-Violence.  In the 2015 City Council Allocation Funding document, $550,000 has been allocated to programs to teach anti-violence, anti-weaponry, and conflict resolution strategies.  How confused can a student be?  JROTC kids carry rifles, guns are fun and war is a game.  So, what’s going on in the public high schools?

In conclusion, I noted the $1.5 million allocation should be transferred to an area of educational service being cut  or reduced and better better serve the needs of our students and teachers.  From art, music, sports, environmental initiatives — to hiring more, and much needed high school career guidance counselors. This subsidy for a military training program should have no place in the  Mayor’s FY 2015 Education Budget, and we ask the council to eliminate and re-direct these funds for far more important educational priorities.

We look forward to the Council’s leadership on this significant educational issue.

Respectfully,
– Barbara Harris
for the Granny Peace Brigade and all listed supporters
…………………………
After I concluded, Council Member Dromm (Chair of the Committee on Education) thanked me for continuing to work on this issue and noted a follow up meeting to discuss new strategies.

Before I left, several people in the council chamber, who had previously given testimony on different budget issues,  came over to thank me for the testimony.  They didn’t know about JROTC or the details of the program and were strongly on our side.  As we have found, as people learn more about the JROTC, they agree to eliminate taxpayer funding for the program.