A veteran guest speaker at a Staten Island High School has locals in an uproar after handing out Anti-military pamphlets and urging students not to join the military.
Port Richmond High School is amid a flurry of controversy after a disabled veteran from the War Resisters League spoke in front of several senior social studies classes on Monday, handing out a pamphlet titled “What Every Girl Should Know About The U.S. Military.”
“It was very, a lot to handle,” student Victoria Caliendo said. “A lot to take in, and just, like, overblown to say. Like, wow.”
The pamphlet contained passages claiming that “For many, joining the military means suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from combat, oppressing people & occupying their lands, and/or Military Sexual Trauma (MST) from sexual violence.”
According to the War Resisters League’s website, the pamphlet is “written for girls, queer and trans youth, youth of color and poor youth…the brochure is focused on sexual & gender-based violence: perfect for distributing at schools & community centers.”
Caliendo’s father, like many parents, was less than impressed.
“It’s not all peaches and cream. It’s hard work. It is,” parent Jack Caliendo said. “But the stuff they put in that flyer, it’s ridiculous. That’s not right, and that shouldn’t be put out there about our military.”
The assistant principal, Ms. Lisa Pollari, -who also is in charge of the JROTC program- arranged the speaker’s presentation with the approval of the school and has since been doing a lot of damage control.
According to NY1News, the anti-military rhetoric only added to backlash built up by the fact that the school’s principal, Oneatha Swinton, who is under investigation by school officials for allegedly using an out-of-state address to get cheaper car insurance.
City Education Department officials said the pamphlet was not appropriate for the classroom and that the school did not officially approve the event, adding that Port Richmond High School will not work with the War Resisters League again.
The War Resisters League was established in the 1920s and is touted as “the United States’ oldest secular pacifist organization.”
Highly left-wing in their rhetoric, the WRL is openly anti-military and anti-police, conducting counter-recruitment operations for both professions.
They are currently planning operations and seeking support to “stop” tactical police conventions and conferences across the country.
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