Parent Teacher Conference Night at NYC High Schools – March 29, 2012

The Dept. of Defense has begun its $5 million summer advertising campaign to entice youth to enlist. Social media, YouTube, Facebook, and video games will carry promotions for enlistment. To counter the military recruitment message, volunteers were at 12 high schools in 4 boroughs armed with flyers and a commitment to promote an alternative message.

The outreach action provided parents with information and questions to ask in order to better understand military recruiters’ promises and tactics. The response was positive, pro-education, and anti-military. There was no doubt that families need support, information, and resources to help their children succeed and reach their goals.

A volunteer notes that people were very receptive to one of our key pitches: ‘With the spring and warmer weather, the recruiters are going to be coming out again trying to get our kids. We want to make sure they are ready to challenge the lies they’ve been telling to get new bodies. The recruiters paint rosy pictures but we see how the new soldiers are when they come back.”

The Options for Life After High School flyer is a resource page which provides websites and contacts for CUNY/SUNY colleges, financial aid, scholarships, job skill programs and more. This flyer was popular and every parent wanted one.   As parents left the school after the meeting, I noticed they were still carrying the brightly colored sheets as they waved goodbye.

Volunteers were thanked; parents sincerely valued the outreach. Rob, a volunteer, writes, “I think people really appreciated hearing views that were consonant with their own unspoken ones. Really important we were out there just telling it like it is.”

And everyone can continue to tell it like it is. For downloadable copies of the flyers, tips on leafleting, and websites to visit, go to the Counter Recruiting page of the GPB website

– Barbara Harris
for the Granny Peace Brigade
Photo: Harry Bubbins

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