Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Draconian Measures Against Student Anti-War Protesters
Walter Feinberg Sends along the following:
High school is a fertile recruiting ground for the military, yet high schools often neglect to engage students in serious discussions of pacificism, the principles of just warfare or acceptable and unacceptable behavior of soldiers in time of war. While many districts have little difficulty with military recruiters on campus many are reluctant to allow peace activist to provide a counter message.
In one school, Morton West High School in Berwyn, IL (a suburb of Chicago)over 37 school students face either expulsion or suspension over an Antiwar Sit in on November 1, 2007.
The Superintendent has refused to back down as of this writing. Hence instead of teaching students about their right as citizens to protest, the school has decided to take the most Draconian measures available against a group of peacefully protesting students.
The failure to teach students about their basis responsibilities in times of war is a professional failing on the part of teachers and administrators. Soldiers and civilians in Iraq have paid a high price for this neglect. There is a need for professional and educational bodies to establish clear standards that can protect students' basic rights. There is also a need for those students who are inclined to enlist in the military to understand what international standards of behavior will and will not permit.
Those interested in the Morton West High School case can call or write.
Dr. Ben Nowakowski, Superintendent
2423 South Austin, Cicero, IL 60804
Mr. Lucas, Principal
Morton West High School
2400 S. Home Ave.
Berwyn, IL 60402