Seattle Youth Against War and Racism activists created quite a sir at the Seattle School Board meeting Wednesday, keeping the pressure on the School Board which we generated two weeks ago in the city wide walkout of 800 students against the war in Iraq.
Students and community activists spoke forcefully throughout the one hour public comment period, and were frequently interrupted with loud applause. We explained why military recruiters have no place in our schools and demanded the School Board implement its existing policy restricting recruiters access to schools, close the loopholes recruiters have found, and send the federal government a letter protesting the No Child Left Behind Act and the military recruiters presence in our schools. Many also spoke against the School Boards plans to shut down seven schools next year, demanding money for education rather than the war!
Our action was covered by one of the main local TV news programs, Komo TV, as one of their main news stories (though as usual full of inaccuracies and misstatements). You can watch their coverage at: http://www.komotv.com/news/7306801.html
However, once again the Board members basically failed to discuss or respond publicly to the issues we raised in an all too familiar pattern, as we saw the Board also ignore the issues raised at this meeting by dozens of parents, teachers, and community activists from African American Academy over the recent imposition of a new principal without the agreement of the local school. We received many promises that the issue of military recruitment is being discussed and worked on, but it is clear that the School Board will need to feel more pressure from students, parents, teachers and the antiwar movement to finally force them to take meaningful action.