This week, the New York Civil Liberties Union and its partners in the Students or Soldiers? Coalition will visit public high schools in all five boroughs to inform students of their rights regarding military recruitment at school.
The Week of Action, an annual event, targets schools known to have high levels of recruitment activity. Teams of volunteers will visit 10 schools before classes start and at the end of the school day to distribute thousands of No Student Left Unrecruited palm cards, which help students, parents, educators, and advocates understand their rights and obligations when it comes to military recruitment. The palm card provides two detachable forms to help students opt out of recruiting databases and keep their information private from recruiters.
Leafletters will also be educating parents and students about new New York City Department of Education guidelines regulating military recruiters’ access to schools. After six year of advocacy by the NYCLU and its allies, the DOE issued a chancellor’s regulation governing military recruitment in the public schools. Each individual school is now responsible for creating a plan regulating recruiter access. While the new regulation is a significant step toward preventing military recruitment abuses in the schools, more must be done to ensure that students and parents know their rights regarding military recruitment.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 granted the military wide access to public high schools and students’ personal information, though the law also requires schools to allow students and parents to withhold personal information from the military. As recruiters intensified activities inside public high schools to meet wartime quotas, stories of aggressive recruitment targeting low-income communities of color became common.
The Student or Soldiers? Coalition consists of the NYCLU, Ya-Ya Network, New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE), UFTers to Stop the War and NYC United for Peace and Justice (NYC UFPJ).
Week of Action to inform city students of their rights regarding military recruitment
Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Friday, Oct. 16
- Bronx: Fri., 2-4 p.m., Former South Bronx H.S., 701 St. Anns Ave.
- Brooklyn: Thurs., 2-4 p.m., Erasmus Campus, 911 Flatbush Ave.
Fri., 2-4 p.m., Midwood H.S., 2839 Bedford Ave.
- Manhattan: Wed., 2-4 p.m., Facing History School, 525 W. 50th St.
- Queens: Wed., 2-4 p.m., Jamaica H.S., 167-01 Gothic Dr.
- Staten Island: Thurs., 7-9 a.m., Curtis H.S., 105 Hamilton Ave.