Protect the Children

Counter Recruiting on Parent Night at New York City High Schools

The Granny Peace Brigade and Code Pink NYC believe wholeheartedly that students and their parents should be aware that there are alternatives to military service, that an education can be secured without risking lives in needless wars. To further that objective, 25 volunteers traveled to eight high schools in Manhattan and one in the Bronx with Opt-Out forms and information on Parent Teacher Conference night at NYC high schools on October 23, 2008.
Standing in front of the schools, the volunteers met with parents and students to give them the information needed to protect a student’s privacy and prevent her/his personal information from being sent to military recruiters. With just a few words – “Protect your child’s privacy from military recruiters.,” or “Bring this form to the principals office,” parents were encouraged to stop for a minute and find out more.
Few parents knew about the importance of completing the Opt Out Form and filing the form in the school office. Parents thanked the volunteers for explaining the serious nature of the choice, for being at the school to furnish information, and for providing the Opt-Out form. Many students also took the form, “I’m not going into the military. I don’t want to be called and harassed. No way, not me.”  Several teachers, parent coordinators and a school student adviser took forms to copy and distribute. The message was clear – parents as well as students want high schools to provide an education and were not comfortable with military recruiters having personal information or coming to call.

Meeting parents and hearing “They’re not getting my baby” and “Thank you for helping me understand” is the reward volunteers receive. Thanks to all the volunteers for their time, effort and commitment to providing Opt-Out information – you have made a difference. Your dedicated service may have helped guide a youngster”s education and career or save a young life. There can be no greater satisfaction.

– Barbara Harris
for the Granny Peace Brigade

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