Teacher Sylvia McCauley has written a terrific article about the paradoxes of militarism in her school in the fall issue of Rethinking Schools.
“The Military Invasion of My High School: The Role of JROTC” tells the story of the JROTC at Reynolds High School in Oregon, but the focus on luring students at risk, and the contradictions with non-violent conflict educational philosophies are common at other schools with JROTC. Ms. McCauley also details the history that led to schools accepting and promoting militarism and JROTC.
The author, Sylvia McGauley, is a teacher at Reynolds High School in Oregon – where in June a deranged JROTC student shot a student and injured a teacher before taking his own life. “This tragedy,” the article notes, “highlights the importance of closing down programs that feed violent tendencies in vulnerable students and contradict school-based efforts to teach nonviolent conflict resolution.”
After the article was accepted for publication in “Rethinking Schools” (an always excellent resource for students, teachers, and activists), a JROTC student at Reynolds high school brought a semi-automatic rifle and pistol, a knife, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition to school. He killed a student and injured a teacher before the police came and he killed himself. Of course, not all JROTC students are violent: of course, not all violence at schools is from the presence of JROTC. But the acceptance of the violence of military solutions to conflicts paves the way for further violence.