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.
For 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