Tuesday, April 29, 2008

student priorities ...

At the schools we've been in recently, we've invited students to fill in posters like these...

Tabling in the high schools

As volunteers with Nonmilitary Options, we have a presence in our public high schools through literature tables during lunch hours and career fairs.

The last couple of weeks, we've staffed tables at McCallum, Bowie and Crockett high schools. We offered literature about military realities that recruiters aren't likely to talk about, information about options for college funding, travel, job training, etc., free buttons and copies of the comic-style book, "Addicted to War." One of the folks in our group doing the tabling is a veteran of the Iraq War. He has first-hand knowledge of what war really looks like on the ground.

At McCallum and Bowie, we held "Penny Polls" at our table. We offered students 10 pennies each to distribute among five jars labeled with categories of federal spending: Health Care, Environment, Military, Humanitarian Aid, Education. We invited students to distribute their 10 pennies among the five jars according to their own priorities. Here are the results:

At McCallum HS (54 participants):

Education - 30%
Environment - 27%
Health Care - 25%
Humanitarian Aid - 14%
Military - 4%

At Bowie HS (55 participants):

Environment - 40%
Military - 17%
Humanitarian Aid - 16%
Education - 15%
Health Care - 12%

After they voted in the poll, we offered students fliers showing how the federal budget is actually allocated - which shows approximately 43% going toward military spending, 3% for 'science, energy and the environment' and 1% for diplomacy and humanitarian aid. As one student said, "Whoa. This is upside down!"

Monday, April 28, 2008

Education Not Arms

This notice comes from the folks at Project YANO in San Diego. Check it out! --

The Education Not Arms Coalition in San Diego has been attending school board meetings to speak against the existence of firing ranges on high school campuses and protest the tracking of students into the military via Jr.ROTC. Last week, on March 11, about 50 people (mostly students) turned out to protest and present a petition with 1000 signatures. Following presentations by three coalition representatives, we finally got an indication that the board is willing to put the issue on its agenda. More mobilizations will follow until the board gets rid of the firing ranges and the school district stops tracking students into Jr.ROTC.

To see pictures and hear an 8-minute audio clip of the very inspiring testimony given on March 11 by two students (ages 14 and 16) and one parent go to:



Our new site

This is the new website for the group, Nonmilitary Options for Youth.

Nonmilitary Options for Youth is located in Austin, TX. The group was founded in 1997.

Our mission statement:

Believing in nonviolence, we seek to balance the military recruiting information given in the high schools and explore with students the many alternate choices available to them. We are students, teachers, activists, veterans and parents. Please consider joining us!

This new site is being launched in April, 2008. Please check back as we add more information, resources and news about our outreach in the public high schools in Austin, TX.