Anti-War Teach-In: Future Teachers Debate War

April 1, 2003

As a student of secondary education at the University of Illinois in Chicago, politics is a part of my daily life. Often in my classes and among other students, important political issues come under discussion. Recently the leader of a campus organization for future teachers of which I am a member, proposed on our general listserv that we organize a care package drive for soldiers stationed overseas as a way to "support our troops."

His e-mail sparked a flurry of comments and ideas from people on the list who seemed anxious to discuss the topic of war and our roles as teachers in approaching it.

Several people expressed an antiwar sentiment and I proposed that, as an organization, we adopt a resolution against the war and take up regular discussions. To many of us, the best way we can support our troops is to demand that our government withdraw all armed forces stationed abroad immediately.

This was a debate important to all of us as future teachers, and it was obviously a subject that many needed desperately to discuss. Unfortunately the leader of the organization cut off this discussion of pre-professional teachers, abandoning democracy in favor of arbitrary dictate. Sadly enough, I am accustomed to this type of governing. However, just as I am resolved to struggle without end against the fascism of our country's government, I will also work with my peers to ensure that we have a fair and democratic teacher candidates organization.

This experience makes it all the more evident that we must give expression to our desire for peace by bringing consciousness of the conditions our world is faced with to our friends, family, workplaces, and organizations. By taking our politics to these places we will get to the root of war and militarism and step closer toward empowering the people once and for all.

- Student and future teacher