To the editors:
The Granny Peace Brigade Philadelphia is responding to increased military presence and recruitment efforts in our schools with actions to support student privacy and informed decision-making.
Military presence in our schools includes access to private contact information for recruitment purposes, frequent presence of recruiters, and a growing number of JROTC programs.
There are several ways to be pro-active.
Alert students about protecting their privacy. Names, addresses and phone numbers of juniors and seniors will be released to recruiters by the District unless students sign the opt-out form “How NOT to Have Your Name and Address Released to Military Recruiters” by October 23. Students can download the form at www.philasd.org under the student section, sign it, and give it to their advisor or school secretary.
Demand that principals use Option 8 if they give ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) in your school. Option 8 requires that test results not be released for recruiting. Parents receive a letter telling them to inform the school if they do not want their children to take it. The military sells ASVAB to schools as a career guidance tool, but it is a recruitment tool.
Offer resources, in addition to those provided by the military, to students considering enlistment. Students considering military enlistment deserve to get balanced guidance to help them make an informed decision.
To request “Military Recruiters in High Schools? What Students Need to Know – Considerations for Counselors,” or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-438-9319.
The writer is a retired Philadelphia teacher active in the Granny Peace Brigade.