Being out on the streets, leafleting and providing information to passersby is never so pertinent and effective than on Parent Teacher Conference night. Once again, volunteers were outside NYC high schools ready to distribute student-focused informational flyers to parents. The focus of this action is to ensure that parents and students are aware of the questions to ask military recruiters and to review non-military options for students to reach their goals after graduation.
Parents and students stopped for a moment to talk and consider the handouts. One flyer provides non-military options and opportunities for students after graduation including information about skill development programs, college websites, available financial and scholarship aid and educational outreach organizations. The second flyer provides answers to the promotional promises military recruiters make to youth in order to entice them to consider enlisting -what facts to know; what questions to ask. Parents engaged in brief conversations and expressed their appreciation for the information as well as our concern for their children’s welfare and future opportunities. “This is important and I’ll talk with my son about it. We need to start talking.”
The Options for Life after High School handout went like hotcakes – parents and students were requesting a copy, as well as a couple of teens who were considering the military and a JROTC cadet in uniform. Bottom line, it is clear that when a teen has an opportunity for job training, city college programs, resource guides, and financial aid for further education, the military choice is put into perspective.
Volunteers noted that more students wanted to talk to them, ask questions and get information. Some parents recognized volunteers from last fall. “Being at the schools, we are making an impression and more able to provide support and options to families. “
“Thank you for doing this. I didn’t know about the options.” Once a parent spoke with tears. The concern of families to be able to provide educational opportunities for their child was touching and honest. No to the military was loud and clear. The rare parent was open to a military alternative.
I was on a team with a new volunteer. Talking it over after all our flyers had been distributed, she was excited by the experience, the connection with parents, and the feeling of fulfillment. “When is the next action? Please call me again”.
Hoping you will join us and be part of this positive and rewarding experience. It’s a small effort to support families and students with a large personal reward.
Thanks to all the volunteers who made this action so successful.
– Barbara Harris – Counter Recruitment Committee
for the Granny Peace Brigade
*** Students Not Soldiers: Military recruiters engage students early – all the better for future enlistment potential. Counter recruitment activities are a foot in the door to present youth with crucial information that recruiters omit and to counter-balance the promises that recruiters make. It is imperative that we provide more non-military options and programs to assist teens after they graduate. It is also germane that counter recruiters address truth in recruitment and the militarization of youth inside and outside of schools.