Chicago’s Terrible Plan To Force School Children Into The Military

A plan approved in May is set to take effect soon, forcing high school seniors to either be enlisted in the military, have a job, be enrolled in a gap-year program, or have a college acceptance letter before getting their diploma.
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    Sgt. James Locke, center, inspects recruits, many of them high school juniors and seniors, as they stand at attention in the concrete barracks at the Army National Guard complex in Marseilles, Ill. (AP/Jeff Roberson)

    Sgt. James Locke, center, inspects recruits, many of them high school juniors and seniors, as they stand at attention in the concrete barracks at the Army National Guard complex in Marseilles, Ill. (AP/Jeff Roberson)

    (Opinion) — Chicago, Illinois, has a chronic inflated state problem disguised as a schooling problem. In order to eradicate the symptom, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has decided to attack those who suffer from it and not the actual root of the problem — adopting a classic “more of the same” approach.

    A plan approved in May is set to take effect soon, forcing high school seniors to either be enlisted in the military, have a job, be enrolled in a gap-year program, or have a college acceptance letter before the Chicago public schooling system will give them their diploma. The obvious consequences of this new policy are problematic. Still, Emanuel doesn’t seem to care.

    In the scenario Chicago’s mayor envisions, students from the poorest areas of the city, where many parents are often absent due to their work schedules, problems with the law, or other issues, children nearing the end of their senior year will have to head to a counselor’s office for advice on which path to take if they want to obtain their high school diplomas.

    Related: Chicago PD Faces Lawsuit Over Secretive ‘Predictive Policing’ Program

    Unfortunately, in many of the schools in those areas, counselors often work with 400 students at a time. With few resources to offer sound advice, these students will be forced to do whatever seems easier, less complicated, and perhaps less burdensome in order to meet the new requirements. As such, many will enlist in the military while others will head to already crowded city colleges. The other obvious consequence of this policy is that many students will simply postpone graduating or completely give up on it.

    In no time, Chicago, whose population already suffers due to povertyhigh crime rates worsened by a suffocating anti-gun agenda that hurts blacks more than anyone else, and the ongoing drug war will see yet another problem gradually taking over.

    As young high school students feel uncertain of their future, they will have no incentives to pursue their own individual paths. Instead, they will turn to those that are readily available. As a result, many of the poorest kids in the city will likely take up crime, whether on behalf of the state — by joining the military — or on behalf of a drug cartel that wouldn’t exist without the U.S. government’s war on drugs.


    Inflated State, Ineffective Schools, Unhappy Kids

    Illinois is mired in debt, and school teachers’ pensions are a great part of it.

    In 2015, when Emanuel failed to promptly find a way to cover some of Chicago’s teacher pensions, he also struggled to find a different means to increase revenue. As a result, teachers and school staff were slashed. Unfortunately, that’s not the case only in Chicago, but where teachers unions have a great deal of power with the local and state authorities.

    Thanks to the pact between teachers’ unions and public schooling systems, government-run schools have a great deal of overhead to take care of. Unfortunately, the taxpayer isn’t an endless cash supply, and at some point, the government runs out of other people’s money. Without a way to cover teachers on tenure who are often impossible to fire, these schools struggle to make changes that would actually benefit the students.

    In this perverse universe, the schooling system works for the teacher, whose union-backed contract ensures his job and pension are guaranteed no matter how effective the teacher truly is. The student hoping to obtain some important skills to lead a better life outside of the schoolyard, on the other hand, gets nothing.

    In Chicago, what Emanuel did was continue this tradition.

    Instead of putting an end to this evil system, which allows corruption and inefficiency to remain unaddressed, he’s penalizing students — poor students, in particular — by forcing them to have it all figured out by the time they are done with their senior year. As we all know by now, this plan is sure to backfire.

    But why do politicians like Emanuel continue to enable this type of behavior? What do they gain by never addressing the root causes of these issues? The short answer is: a lot. After all, many local, state, or even larger congressional races can’t be won without the support of unions. And teachers unions are some of the most powerful organizations in the country.

    To many politicians, standing against teachers unions means losing — and badly.

    Thankfully, however, things appear to be changing, but not enough that the mentality surrounding public schooling is also shifting.

    For us to have a definitive and constructive conversation about education in the country, we must first tackle the very root of discontent: the government-run education system.

    Until then, be prepared for many more Chicagos and many more Detroits to unfold across the country before average Americans finally realize they cannot rely on the state to ensure their children are properly educated.

    This work by --- is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.This work by The Anti-Media is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.


    The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Mint Press News editorial policy.

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    • Eddie Higgins

      The ACLU will be all over this .

    • JayGoldenBeach

      An article loses credibility when a writer arbitrarily assigns blame to the teachers and their pensions and should be considered pro-privatisation propaganda.

    • Gadea

      Either that, or make birth control mandatory for all.
      There is a choice, just do not have children, if you cannot afford them.

    • Bob Barton

      What’s the answer for overpopulated morons?Or is there one?

    • baruchzed

      Rahm Emmanuel is doing his part to make sure that young people have no choices, and in keeping the war machine stocked with young bodies to use as cannon fodder and to train to be killers. This is unacceptable and, my bet, unconstitutional.

      • James Wherry

        How can you say that? The Chicago school board offers several choices.

        What I resent is that they are making completion of a degree contingent upon things that happen after The degree is given.

        What happens if a high school graduate joins the military and is there after separated because of military justice violations? You mean to tell me that he is getting a degree, but someone who just wants to stay at home and relax is not? Seriously?

    • James Wherry

      By the article’s own claim, here are apparently several things the potential graduate could do to receive her degree: “be enlisted in the military, have a job, be enrolled in a gap-year program, or have a college acceptance letter.”

      So why the emphasis in the title on “forcing someone to be in the military?” Why not “Chicago’s Terrible Plan To Force School Children to have a job” or “Chicago’s Terrible Plan To Force School Children to enroll in a gap-year program?”

      Print the facts, not the propaganda. . . .

      • baruchzed

        It’s not propaganda…for a lot of Chicago’s youth the military will be the fall back because the other options are out of reach. This is advancing the “back door draft” many steps. Wake up and smell the fascism James.

        • James Wherry

          What you are missing is the fact that the military is no longer an option for these children.

          We are no longer living in the period between 2004 through 2011, when multiple deployments in several areas of operation made the military desperate.

          The article and the author fail to understand that the military is being picky. I am not in favor of this approach, but many commanders who are sick and tired of discipline issues have no problem with it.

          • JayGoldenBeach

            So you are saying many in Chicago public schools would not qualify for the military – or be albe to hold a job – or to even graduate. That would represent a huge systemic failure that did not happen by accident.

            • James Wherry

              No: I am saying that there are no extra jobs in the United States military. Right now, there is have a competition to join the military and no new spaces.

              It does sound to me as if President Trump is trying to reverse president Obamas reduction in the military. That is too bad because I believe the future of American armed conflict does not lie with Russia or China but with asymmetrical warfare by terrorist organizations. That sort of struggle requires “another sort of military”, one that relies heavily on special forces and not massive ground troops.

      • zonmoy

        your assuming that those are actually viable options for many of those children.

        • James Wherry

          No: I condemn the entire exercise.

          However, so long as the author is assuming that the military is an option, I think that I have the right to assume that the other possibilities are open to those children.

          • zonmoy

            works great if they can get into a college or get a job, the other options might work assuming that they can get the counseling and help to get them into any programs that will allow them to graduate.

            • James Wherry

              Zon, have you ever been part of the US military? If so, have you been since 2011?

              Notwithstanding new craziness by North Korea this year, or our short mission BACK to Iraq (now at an end), we withdrew from Iraq in 2011. Combat operations came to an end in Afghanistan in 2011.

              All of this allowed President Obama to reduce troop strength to the lowest levels since before WWII for the first time since that time.

              And you may have noticed a small recession America had. . .

              The upshot is that a he military has become quite picky. No more “moral waivers” for recruits with past criminal records. No more GEDs – only high school degrees.

              The bottom line is that we are not building up the military or forcing anyone into it.

              And honestly, my fellow Republicans may finally have gotten it: “big military = Big Government.” And it’s too expensive.

    • James Wherry

      I would not have heard of this post, except YES I have heard of this awful proposal.

      Those 18-year olds are adult citizens with Constitutional Rights: to DO or NOT TO DO whatever they want with the rest of their lives.

      I REGRET that “freedom” also includes “freedom to be a bum,” but this will only prevent more kids in Chicago from getting degrees and being able to land real jobs (which curiously keep asking “Are you a high school graduate?”).

      As to the military, MPN and its sycophants should quit wasting their time bad-mouthing the military. We are no longer accepting recruits no high school degrees, even if they have GEDs. We are also no longer granting “moral waivers” for past criminal wrongs or mistakes. Sorry folks, but the Great Recession – combined with the reduction in the Army to the lowest number of Soldiers since before WWII – has enabled us to be picky. Discipline problems are down and morale is up: people like having a steady job.

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        Always disgusting Wherry is!

    • The kids in the Gulf War came back poisoned with sarin.

      The Kids in the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations came back maimed from IED’s.

      Every generation of Americans who serve in wars over seas come back to tell their little brothers about how they were treated under the command of the US Officers and how they are rewarded for their sacrifices.

      After a while when you see through all the patriotic propaganda and look at the cold hard realities of national subjugation it becomes painfully obvious that military service is the thinning of a cultures strong young male population or a voluntary genocide of your culture, replacing your seed with the seed of another among your own Tribe.

      It is interesting that the Ex Head of the Mossad in America Rahm Emanuel, sees genocide of the Chigagolands poor male population as a solution to the problem of economic segregation in Illinois but the Mossad sees their success of the Sunni-Shi-ite proxy wars and want to implement this population control method with in their own community by sending these Kids off as assets for the Al Nusra Front as word is getting around down South and out West that US Troops are pretty much backing up the Al Nusra Front in Syria and they are Christian Killers.

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        What else would you expect from a son of Irgun?

      • JayGoldenBeach

        Also a few dozen cases of birth defects if the mother was deployed to Iraq/Afghanistan due to exposure to depleted uranium.