Tim Franzen, of the American Friends Service Committee, sent out the following information regarding a gathering at the Capitol on Wednesday to support the resolution.
Parents, veterans and others plan to tell their stories of abusive military recruiting in Georgia high schools at a hearing of the Georgia Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 10 in room 310, Coverdell Legislative Office Building, 18 Capitol Square SW.
The committee is considering Senate Resolution 955, which urges the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia school systems to:
- cease all programs and activities designed to recruit children under the age of 17, as required by U.S. ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Rights of the Child in 2002;
- require written parental consent for participation of children 17 and older in military-related programs and activities; and
- provide students and parents with exemption forms which would prevent schools from disclosing students’ records to recruiters, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act.
Christopher Raissi is a former Marine recruiter. “Recruiters are trained to work everyone in a high school, from freshmen to seniors,” he plans to tell the senators. “The schools don’t give any notification to the parents about dissemination of students’ personal information to recruiters. If parents ignore their phone calls, recruiters are trained to track down every kid on the list, either at school or at home. I think this resolution is very reasonable.”
Susan Keith of Decatur will tell the committee how her son Martin, when he was a 10th grader at Decatur High School, was deluged with glossy brochures from recruiters. “They were offering him free sunglasses, duffel bags, T-shirts – all paid for with taxpayer money, of course.”
“These stories are just the tip of a very large iceberg,” says Tim Franzen of the American Friends Service Committee. “Increased pressure to recruit during wartime has pushed recruiters to use deceptive and aggressive tactics with vulnerable children who see few prospects in this bleak economy. These resolutions attempt to ensure that parents’ and students’ rights are respected.”
A companion resolution, H.R.1219, has been introduced in the Georgia House.
Many of you may recall that DeKalb County School System attempted to start a dedicated military academy. Due to a poor choice of location, along with a lack of organization and community outcry, the military decided not to act on the plan.