News Release

Back to School — Military Recruitment

RICK JAHNKOW
Jahnkow works with two San Diego-based organizations: the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities as well as the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft. He said today: “The Pentagon is having major shortfalls recruiting people. … High school students are getting a distorted picture of the military and war from recruiting ads and marketing.”
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LIZ RIVERA GOLDSTEIN
Liz Rivera Goldstein is the chairperson of the National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth. She said today: “The ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ says that military recruiters can go into a school and get information on students, but parents should be informed and allowed to ‘opt-out’ of that. Unfortunately, not enough parents — or educators — know about the right to ‘opt-out.’ This situation is in contrast to say a sex-ed class when there’s typically an ‘opt-in’ — that is, a permission slip is required from the parent to participate.”
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JORGE MARISCAL
Mariscal is a member of the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities, a professor of Chicano Studies at the University of California at San Diego and a Vietnam veteran. He said today: “Parents and students need to know that it’s their right to withhold information from military recruiters. If you don’t want to be harassed by the type of recruiter who does harass people, then file the opt-out form. Unfortunately this is not always enough. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is an exam developed by the Pentagon and currently used in 14,000 schools. Although schools are not required to give the ASVAB, students are often compelled to take it without knowing that their exam results may be passed directly to military recruiters.”

Mariscal is a participant in today’s news conference in San Diego focusing on military recruitment of Latinos. There are also similar news conferences or other events in Los Angeles, San Francisco, El Paso, Chicago and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Contact Mariscal for more details. For more background on increased recruitment of Latinos, see: “Uncle Sam Really Wants Usted” by Linda Bilmes.
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FERNANDO SUAREZ DEL SOLAR
His son, Jesus, was killed in Iraq. He has spent the last several weeks in Crawford, Texas, and just wrote “An Open Letter to Mr. Bush”; he will be at the military recruitment event focusing on Latinos on Monday in San Diego.
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PAT ELDER
Elder is a father of four children, one of them in middle school and another in high school. He has been involved in counter-recruitment efforts in the D.C. area for the past year. He said today: “The situation with recruiters varies a great deal at the local level. Some local school policies even allow for the release of private psychological and criminal records from confidential student files to the military. There is also wide variation in what schools recruiters target — avoiding upscale ones and targeting ones that are either poorer or largely African American or Latino.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167