In keeping with both our family's pledge to do something every day to better our family's circumstances and independence, and my midwife's orders to take things easy for an extra two weeks, my project today was to research a few homeschooling links and topics online. Our biggest hurdle with homeschooling is likely to come from family, and their fear that our kids won't have opportunities to socialize, I figured I'd explore a few organizanations that would provide both skills and socialization. First stop, the Boy and Girl Scouts of America.
I was surprised to learn there was a co-ed program in the Boy Scouts, the Explorer Program. It has also been called Learning for Life, the Exploring Program, and the Venturing Program. I had never heard about the program before, so I did a search and found the New York Times article, "Explorer- Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More".
The article details how Homeland Security has partnered with the Explorer Program to teach children how to take down terrorists. According to the director for Learning for Life, John Anthony, "Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, many posts (in the Explorer Program) have taken on an emphasis of fighting terrorism and other less conventional threats."
Less conventional threats? That line in the article brought me back up to the very first paragraph where teenagers were being trained to take down a gun-toting, murderous, disgruntled, Iraq War Veteran. I have to ask the question, is Homeland Security expecting so many of our Iraq War vets to come home mentally unstable that even our children need to be recruited to subdue them? And if so, why? (Ok, conspiracy theory moment over.)
We should not be teaching our kids that veterans are a "less conventional threat." We should be honoring them for their service and sacrifice, regardless of the policies that send them to war.
Do I think these kids will be called in if there is a disgruntled Iraq War veteran emergency? No. Professionals would be called in to deal with such a situation. I am, however, concerned that these drills of American children battling American Veterans even exist. It has the potential to predispose these young adults into thinking of Veterans as unstable, violent, and a threat. I think it is a dangerous message to send to our impressionable youth. I also find it a slick bit of spin that the "disgruntled veteran" stereotype is being pushed along side of criminals, such as illegal border crossings and drug traffickers in this training.
What we have here is a battle for our childrens' minds being played out through Homeland Security sanctioned role playing. And, I find that disturbing.
While this is just one program associated with Boy Scouts of America, I think we'll just keep looking for other socialization opportunities.
Live better, a little every day.