Eliminating military influence and recruitment of youth in public schools.
Our programs, actions and materials provide non-military options for students. We are working to eliminate the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program from NYC high schools, to assure that students and parents understand the context of recruiters’ promises, and to protect students’ privacy rights by restricting the dissemination of personal data being forwarded to recruiters.
For the military, access to high schools provides and all-important targeted market. High schools are the primary source of Army applicants. School access is essential to military recruiters precisely because that’s where young people can be found five days a week. In fact, the Army’s Recruiter Handbook notes that among key community institutions—churches, civic organizations, businesses—schools have the most significant impact on recruiting.
Activists play an important role in achieving change and educating students, parents, City Council Members, and the Board of Regents of the need for reform. This is not about being for or against the military. It is about ensuring that high schools do not become de facto recruiting stations, and that all young people have equal access to educational opportunities. We welcome your interest in these issues to make a positive change for non-military educational opportunities for all students. For further information and to volunteer contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent Teacher Conference Night:March 7th was a freezing evening, but it did not stop volunteers from going to high schools on Parent Teacher Conference night. We were at 14 high schools throughout NYC prepared to provide families with non-military informational flyers. One addresses Options for Life After High School and the second focuses on Questions to Ask/ Points to Consider in connection with military recruitment outreach in high schools. As parents enter the building anxious to speak with their child’s teacher, they are presented with this information and perhaps a brief . Read more.
Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC)
Excerpt: US Dept. of Defense, Relationships Sustain Recruiting through Shutdown, 10/16/13, Donna Miles, author. Lt. Col. Stephen Grabski has said, “There is no better recruiting tool than proud service members who exemplify the military’s best. If I can put them into a high school setting and get them to interact with high school students, their leadership shines through in amazing ways. Students see what true leaders look like and they tend to gravitate toward that and follow it. And that is the foundation of recruiting success. It is a 17-year-old high-school student looking at somebody with chevrons on their uniform, saying, ‘You are showing me some great opportunities.'”
Issues: NYC taxpayers contribute over $1.5 million for the JROTC programs in18 NYC high schools. The JROTC curriculum is developed by the Department of Defense and taught by retired military personnel. An Army memorandum advises JROTC instructors to work closely with high school guidance counselors to sell the Army story. Students are trained to use mock rifles in formal drills, school assemblies, and parades.
The GPB works to re-allocate the tax levy funding for JROTC programs to current educational needs and school activities that benefit our kids and teachers. To achieve this goal, we encourage participation in street actions where we inform and educate the public on the role of the military, and its influence in high schools. We encourage personal calls to City Council members urging a change in current policy and this misuse of taxpayer monies. Actions and dates will be announced on Granny Peace Brigade notices.
Protect Student Privacy: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB)
The Granny Peace Brigade works to ensure that no student’s personal data is released to military recruiters without parental consent. The ASVAB is designed by the Department of Defense (DoD) as a Career Exploration Program and offered to high school administrators and guidance counselors as a Career Exploration Program. At the same time, extensive and detailed student information, including personal data, test results, academic skills, aptitudes, and interests is forwarded to a DoD database for release to military recruiters. ASVAB data is used to profile students for potential recruitment outreach.
The ASVAB test includes a data release option which protects student’s privacy rights. Option 8 states ‘Access to student test information is not provided to recruiting services.’ This option should be the only choice when the ASVAB test is administered in NYS high schools, as it automatically protects students’ and parents’ legal rights.
You Can Help Address this Issue – Release Option 8 for all students taking the ASVAB must be mandated by the NYS Dept. of Education. That will ensure that privacy rights are never compromised. We look for your support of this campaign in the effort to enact a statewide Option 8 privacy rights’ regulation. At this time,our ASVAB campaign is coordinating with the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy. For more information about ASVAB go to: The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy.
For more information:
Youth Activists-Youth Allies, a student social justice organization –
National Network Opposed to the Militarization of Youth, – Organizing vs. Military in our Schools.
Project on Youth and Non-Military Options,
War Resisters League, “What Every Girl Should Know About the U.S. Military”