At a public high school in a Milwaukee suburb, the school newspaper turned down a military recruitment ad on grounds it violated the ad policy, which bans businesses and organizations “deemed destructive to the social, economic and environmental health of the earth and all of its inhabitants.” Editor Bix Firer, 17, told the Journal Sentinel he didn’t want Shorewood High‘s newspaper, Ripples, to help “warmongers.”
Shorewood is a liberal town near the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. (Firer’s parents are both UWM English professors.)
“At Shorewood,” says Nick Pierson, who wrote for Ripples under the name “Mad Max,” “everyone’s got this mind-set that everyone’s going to go to like a really high-level college and these very prestigious universities.
“A lot of people think the military is below them.”
. . . Firer says he rejected the advertising money from the military in part because of the war in Iraq, which he says is further destablizing an unstable area.
He also says the military is “both classist and racist in its approach.”
“I realize this is sort of absurd coming from a privileged, white male, but the recruitment sort of targets those with fewer opportunities,” Firer says.
Well, the recruiter wanted to target Shorewood High students, but never got the chance to offer them a military option.
Mike Halloran, an English teacher and Ripples advisor, once taught at St. Francis High, which sends a comparatively high percentage of graduates into the military. He told the reporter that most St. Francis parents stressed a “sort of blind respect for authority.” By contrast, “There are questioners (at Shorewood),” Halloran says.
I bet there are a lot of group thinkers at Shorewood.
Update: Pierson, who told the Journal-Sentinel that soldiers have an “honorable profession” and said he he’d considered military service, was contacted by a Marine Corps recruiter after the story ran and came close to accepting a Navy ROTC scholarship. However, he was unable to do so because there is no NROTC program at Yale, which he chose for its Chinese Studies major.