PNS Daily Newscast - March 20, 2019 

Joe Biden tells supporters he intends to run in the 2020 presidential election. Also, on the Wednesday rundown: A landmark bill in California would ban toxic chemicals in cosmetics; and groups sue to end disease-spreading elk feeding.

Daily Newscasts

Boots and Backpacks Connect Violence in Schools and Violence in Iraq

October 22, 2008

Chicago, IL – Dozens of combat boots and book bags will line the Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago this afternoon in an exhibition marking the "International Day of Concern about Young People and Gun Violence." The display memorializes the 151 Illinois soldiers killed in the Iraq War and the 76 Chicago Public School students killed on the streets in the past two years.

Darlene Graminga, with The American Friends Service Committee, says there is a big connection between school violence and war violence. She says many of the schools where students have been killed are also places with high military recruitment activity, and that eight young people were killed last week in the city just as Chicago Public Schools opened its sixth military academy this year.

"That kind of focus, like pretend guns in school, is not the spirit we want to send out, and not the kind of consciousness we want to raise among young people about what their responsibilities are."

Graminga believes more work needs to be done to bring social justice and peace to the curriculum, instead of increased military programs.

"We have to think as parents, teachers and community members about how we promote violence in our culture and community. I believe there are better ways to encourage peaceful opportunities within the school system."

Leaders of the JROTC in the Chicago Schools say their focus is to use the military model to develop students for post-secondary education and prepare them to be better citizens.

Mary Kuhlman/Steve Powers, Public News Service - IL