Conscientious Objection Is This for You? Discerning a Claim and Documenting It with Selective Service
With no draft and a Selective Service registration system linked automatically to getting most state drivers’ licenses, the idea of military service generally and conscientious objection in particular is simply “out of sight and out of mind.” Yet, Selective Service registration for men turning 18 (and possibly women in the future) is still required, and it is the precursor to a draft. Little thought is given either to the consequences of registration or to the formulation of a peace testimony as these teenagers move into adulthood. Are we running the risk of raising a generation ill-prepared to articulate and document a claim against war and violence in the event a draft is reinstated? This curriculum explains Selective Service, its registration and methods; defines conscientious objection as currently prescribed by law and judicial rulings; provides a range of exercises and activities to prompt individual soul-searching and group discussion; and lists procedures on how to document a CO claim with an emphasis on writing a “CO Letter.” The curriculum is comprehensive and extensive. It blends instructive and experiential formats with lesson plans, handouts, reference materials, activities, worksheets, and more. While individuals can use this, the curriculum is designed primarily for teaching in groups, either as teens, adults, or a blend of both. And lastly, though unintended the curriculum can have a lasting impact and be part of a lifelong training in peace. Many of our CO letters writers over the last 15 years recognized the influence this experience had on their lives and in the formulation of a commitment to non-violence and peace. This Teacher’s Resource Guide accompanies a downloadable Power Point slide presentation and two videos. This is peace training that changes lives.
Author: Curt Torell
Publisher: Quaker House, 2016