AFSC Releases “Military Recruitment in Western Massachusetts High Schools”

military_recruitmentAmerican Friends Service Committee (AFSC) continues its advocacy for the people of Western Massachusetts with a report that is the first of its kind. “Military Recruitment in Western Massachusetts High Schools” was released in early April and focuses on tracking the military recruitment of public high schools students. AFSC created this report due to the increased recruitment of students in 2001, starting with section 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act and how it has made students and their information accessible to the military with little oversight. The responsibility of privacy is put onto the families of students without enough resources about how this information exchange happens. This report explains some of the terms and programs where the education system and military institutions intersect. Students are recruited at a young age by the military and leave with an increased risk for mental/physical injury, unemployment, and homelessness. AFSC believes that schools should be sacred spaces of learning and development, not opportunities for soliciting youth to take on the burden of staffing the world’s largest military institution.

AFSC goals are to inform the public with accurate information regarding military recruitment in public high schools by making these reports an annual publication. The AFSC urges schools to track, disclose, and make this relationship more transparent. Jeff Napolitano and Andrea McCarron express the hope that this report “will spark a conversation to change the practice of schools so they can batter protect their students, and so that parents are more aware of the totality of their children’s school environment.”

AFSC has worked for decades in Western Massachusetts to advocate for peace and social justice. One of the focuses of our office in Western Massachusetts since 1968-and our international organization since 1917-is to address the issue and impacts of militarism.

 

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