Thursday, September 6

Report: Military recruitment unchecked in many schools

Military recruiters are being given a wide berth to seek enlistees from the city's high schools, according to a New York Civil Liberties Union report titled "We Want You(th)!" NYCLU, along with the office of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, surveyed more than 1,000 students, found that recruiters are "aggressive" in pursuing students and that schools allow recruiters to use instructional time to advertise the military.

Principals are required to give recruiters access to their buildings and students' personal information under No Child Left Behind unless students or their families formally opt out. More than 40 percent of the students NYCLU surveyed said they were not given opt-out forms at the beginning of the school year. Recruiters have also stepped up their sell nationwide as the war in Iraq has dissuaded potential enlistees. "They even lie to you and say you won't have to go to war if you sign up," a Lafayette High School student told NYCLU.

The NYCLU report raises questions about the messages high schoolers are getting about what to do after graduation. "During one month I’d see the recruiters twice or even three times a week on the first floor walking around and talking with students," an Edison High School student told NYCLU. "I was like, why are you always here? I hardly ever saw any college recruiters; I remember seeing recruiters from CUNY maybe one or two times."

Insideschools told you "How to say 'No!' to military recruiters" in 2005, the first year that a student's signature alone was sufficient to prevent recruiters from contacting that student. Opt-out forms are supposed to be available the first week of school, but it looks like the DOE's website hasn't yet been updated with this year's letter.

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