Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to School / Opt-Out of Militarization

Recently, my 6 year old nephew explained to me that "video games don't make me want to kill people, they make me want to join the army." And, I suppose, that is just what they are intended to do. According to research by Cynthia Enloe and others, children's toys, books and even school curriculum is increasingly militarized, preparing and encouraging youth to enter military service.

The Army is failing to meet recruitment goals and is aggressively targeting teens. A small-print provision of the No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to provide the U.S. military with names, telephone numbers and addresses of all students (who don't "opt-out".)

The American Friends Service Committee provides information and forms for parents to "opt-out" of this information-sharing.

There is youth oriented information here and at the National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth.

Portland high schools now distribute "opt-out" cards with other school information - According to the MCLU, this dropped the number of names shared from 98% to 40% between 2005 and 2006.

Interesting reading :

Peace Chronicles includes many essays about the militarization of American childhood

Militarization of Youth
: Links to articles and essays

No comments: