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VETERANS FOR PEACE
Humboldt Bay Chapter 56

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Military Recruiters in Schools

Military recruiters have long had easy access to students as they attend classes. Now, the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) requires all public high schools to provide to military recruiters full contact information for each student. No longer do recruiters have to enter schools to contact their targets; now they can simply call or visit them at their homes. Recruiters still visit schools, of course, as it presents opportunities to meet with more students per visit.

While parents of students can have their children's names removed from the lists schools send to the military, it does require a positive action on their part. At the start of the school year parents must submit a form requesting removal from the recruiters lists. Many parents, however, are not aware of this requirement; in some communities school districts are lax in informing them about the procedure.

Beyond the NCLBA requirements, recruiters have been entering schools for many years. In the absence of a formal military draft, the services are considered to be all-volunteer. In today's environment of preemptive wars, the need for a constant supply of recruits is urgent and recruiters are working harder than ever. Recruiters are no more than salesmen and have always painted a less than realistic picture of military life and of the chances of seeing combat. The result has been essentially an economic draft of vulnerable young people adrift in a time of declining employment and educational opportunities.

It is against this backdrop that members of Veterans for Peace can offer potential recruits the benefit of their hard-earned experience in the services and combat. There is no charge for this service; our members volunteer their time and effort to make sure every young member of our community truly understands what they should know when considering military service.