AFSC to resume visits to Smith Vocational and Agricultural School

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statement-thumbAFSC is pleased to report that we will be able to continue to bring our “Alternatives to Military Service” work to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. Our thanks to Trustee Cahillane who helped facilitate this development, ACLU attorney Bill Newman, as well as everyone who has been supportive of the continuation of this program.

The Daily Hampshire Gazette covered the story here: http://www.gazettenet.com/news/townbytown/northampton/10304650-95/smith-vocational-school-leaders-say-peace-group-afsc-will-be-allowed-on-campus-updated

See below for the text of the joint statement released by the superintendent of Smith Voc and the director of AFSC.

Joint Statement Regarding Visiting by AFSC to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School

Superintendent Jeffrey Peterson, Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School (Smith School)
and Director Jeff Napolitano of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

January 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON – We’re pleased to state that Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School will continue to allow the visit of AFSC’s “Alternatives to Military Service” program to the school. The resumption of visits came after a dialogue between school administration and AFSC staff discussed the material distributed by the organization, the purpose of its program, and how the material may be a resource to the student body.

AFSC will resume its visits to the school consistent with its prior frequency, and visits next year will commence in September, and scheduled through an advance request made in the summer. Among volunteer, apprenticeship, and other opportunities that are distributed by the group will be Smith School’s own “opt-out” form, which is also regularly made available to the students by the school.

The well-being of the student body is the priority of both the school and AFSC, and the materials that AFSC provides regarding common-sense questions and answers regarding military recruitment, as well as other volunteer opportunities that are not commonly known to graduating students.

AFSC is grateful to Superintendent Peterson, Principal Kelly, and Chair Cahillane for the time spent discussing the work of the organization. The willingness to listen and talk about the potential benefits AFSC’s program can offer is much appreciated.

We’d like to express our thanks to Trustee Chair Cahillane for facilitating this conversation and the open communication he fostered. This process has been productive and enlightening for each of us and we look forward to working together in the future to provide the students at Smith with the best possible education available, as well as further opportunities for growth upon graduation.

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