News Release

Instructor at Great Mills HS Leads Campaign to Demilitarize Schools


CNN reports this morning: “Three people were injured in a shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland on Tuesday morning, according to Andrew Ponti, an official with the St. Mary’s County public information office.”

PAT ELDER, pelder at, @studentprivacy
Elder said today: “I was at Great Mills High School last night, teaching GED.”

He is author of the recently released book Military Recruiting in the United StatesElder is director of the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, an organization that confronts militarism in the schools and just launched a new campaign to shut down high school marksmanship programs. He was recently on FAIR’s program “CounterSpin” and “Democracy Now”: “Inside the U.S. Military Recruitment Program That Trained Nikolas Cruz to Be ‘A Very Good Shot.'”

Elder said today: “There are hundreds of trailer homes around the school. There’s tattoo shops and liquor stores. Nearby, there’s Lockheed and CACI and other military contractors, making millions.

“My son went to the school and when he was there, I raised concerns about the JROTC program. I was in a counselor’s office at Great Mills recently and they had a poster for the Navy: ‘Sometimes we rush in after the storm. Sometimes we are the storm.’

“There’s a huge military base nearby, Naval Air Station Patuxent River. It’s as big as the Pentagon.

“Regardless of the specifics of this attack, we have to face up to the reality that militarization of our society, especially our schools, fuels the violence that causes so much suffering — whether it takes place through U.S. foreign policy or school shootings.”