Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Doing Lunch with the Bowie Bulldogs

Hart, Regina, Tami and I had a great visit today at Bowie HS, which is one of the two largest high schools in AISD by population.  It is also one of the 4 of our high schools to have a JROTC program.  Several of the students who came to the table were in the program and were open to talking with us about their plans and to take some literature which offers advice for those who may be planning to enlist in the military after high school.  Also, Hart and Regina, as veterans (Army and Marines, respectively) were able to impart some of their own experience.  Regina is a survivor of military sexual trauma (MST) and had one of her "Fatigues Clothesline Project" shirts on hand, a military jacket upon which had been written messages by other survivors of MST.
interesting juxtaposition of a student poster that was up next to the Fatigues Clothesline piece that we placed behind our table.

We tabled during the two lunch periods, and about 20 students per period completed the t-shirt challenge, which included voting in the Penny Poll (results: 25% of the budget priority for Education, 25% for Health Care, 21% for the Military, 15% for the Environment, 14% for Humanitarian Aid) and writing down their thoughts about our Super-villain question.  We really appreciated their sincere and thoughtful responses and their participation.

A few observations:
Quite a few students didn't know where North Dakota is.  We were happy to discover that the current issue of the Bowie HS student newspaper, "The Lone Star Dispatch" had a student editorial about the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, the events that occasioned our geography question of the day.  When we showed students the paper, none that we spoke with had seen the editorial!  We hope more will read their school newspaper!

The question we ask as the alternative at the chin-up bar, both photos from the Standing Rock protests

Also, several students asked us what "resist" meant in terms of resisting the super-villains.  And several asked us what "militarism" meant.  None addressed it in their written responses.  We pointed to the photo above as one example -- the use of more military equipment among police forces in the US.

Many thanks to all students who engaged with our materials and the t-shirt challenge and were open to expressing their opinions.  We appreciate students discussing these issues and sharing in this critical thinking process with us.

Here are the student responses to the question: "Of the Super-villains: Sexism, Racism, Poverty, Militarism and Homophobia, which will you resist?  How?"

Sexism because it annoys me and is really rude.  If people just let girls be girls life would be better.
I would fight against sexism because I want to promote equality.
Racism, because it’s the most heard about and used against people.
Resist poverty, by making good logical decisions.
I will resist sexism.  Many people expect women to just live by mens expectations and just do what they’re told.  So I can work hard to do more and achieve more than the minimum of what people expect.
Racism, by treating people equally.
Racism.  I will resist by not discriminating people of other different colors.
I will try and resist all of them because I want to be a nice person to the society.
I will resist racism by making friends with everyone and not being selective.
I will resist homophobia because my dad and brother are gay.  I will resist it by petitioning the government for homophobia to be classified as a hate crime.
Sexism.  Show women and men the treatment (respect) as they earn it.
Racism.  We need to stand together as one unit; not divided…we need to move forward.
Racism: I would help protest and I would never speak bad about another race.
Poverty by getting more jobs.
Poverty – I believe everyone deserves a chance.  I would do my best to donate to the poor who weren’t so fortunate.
Homophobia, because I believe everyone deserves love.  I enjoy participating in pride parades and protests.
Poverty.  I grew up poor, and I know how hard that can be.
I will resist sexism.  People of different areas think different things, maybe due to where they were born, but everyone should be equal.
Sexism, by joining the feminist march this weekend.
I would resist racism in a way of seeing everyone in the same way.
Poverty, because poverty is wide spread everywhere.
All of them except militarism.  I would not be mean to another gender just because they are different.
Racism.  Because it is a very big issue.
Sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, racism.  We must treat all races, sexes, sexual orientations and immigrants equally – w/respect.
Sexism and racism and homophobia.  I will resist these by first of all not personally engaging in them.  I also see this every day so I will continue to stop and stand up for what I believe.
Racism: by including everyone w/ everything I do and making sure I don’t make assumptions about race.
Sexism, racism, militarism, homophobia.  Sexism – treating boys and girls and all genders/sexes the same.  Racism – not allowing others to say bad stereotyping.  Homophobia – spread awareness (do that for all).
I would resist poverty by giving to the poor when they’re in desperate times.
One of the student responses.  Indeed, there will be a Women's Rights march in Austin this coming Saturday, January 21 which is predicted to draw thousands of participants!  We expect many high school students will be there!  People are peaceably assembling at noon at the Capitol.


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