Friday, May 20, 2005

While the Army "Stands Down" on May 20, today--CODEPINK Stands Up

The clause in the No Child Left Behind Act--remember the No Child Left Behind Act? It is the legislation that the Bush Administration paid Armstrong Williams $250,000 to promote--well, that clause states that any school that receives government funds has to release to military recruiters, their students personal information.

As you can imagine, once word leaked out about the hidden clause, many parents were upset. Reports of constant phone calls made to the high schoolers by the recruiters were alleged, and complaints were also made of a never ending barrage of contacts being made, in all forms, in order to get the teens to sign up for the military.
The American Friends Service committee has an Opt Kit that I had previously posted on the site.
CODEPINK has joined in the protest against the intimidating tactics used by the US Army (see their message below) in order to get that impressionable teenager to sign up.
They are demonstrating outside of the Recruitment Center in Times Square this evening. Join them if you can. And then read this insightful article on having a military presence in our public schools, and whether banning recruiters from beingin the schools would be against "free speech."..... excerpts from the article:

-------Douglas Smith, a US Army spokesman, said the job of recruiters is not to make promises but to show applicants possibilities and career options.
"As for a recruiter making promises and not following through, the recruiter's not in any position to promise anything. We hope that all our recruiters are communicating honestly with our applicants," Mr. Smith said. But he added, "
In the contract [between the new soldier and the Army] it says, 'Anything the recruiter may have promised me is moot.' "
Smith also pointed out the legality of military recruitment activity on campuses. "The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to let us have access to these students," he says.

Indeed, the resolution by Garfield's PTSA is more symbol than policy, for Seattle, like virtually all school districts, requires high schools to give recruiters access to students - or risk losing federal funding under Section 9528 of the act. School districts also are required to notify parents and students that they may "opt out" by signing a letter preventing recruiters from getting their names.------

-----"They're spending $4 billion a month in Iraq, but we have to cut our race relations class, which costs $12,500," Ms. Hagopian pointed out. "That's an important class for our kids."-------

---------Steve Ludwig, whose son is a senior and whose daughter will enter as a freshman next fall, made a point shared by many in attendance: Garfield does not allow organizations that promote illegal activities to recruit students to perform those activities, nor does it allow organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation to recruit on campus.
"Planned Parenthood, as far as I know, does not advocate or perform illegal acts. The US military does," Mr. Ludwig continued. The soft-spoken carpenter said he would not object if Army representatives came to Garfield to debate their ideas on torture or aggressive war. "What I object to is their coming here to recruit students to perform those acts," he said. "It's not about free speech."--------


From CODEPINK:
Please join Code Pink New York, Campus Anti-War Network, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, NYC Chapter 034 Veterans For Peace, and the International Socialist Organization
Friday, MAY 20, 5 - 7 PM

TIMES SQUARE ARMED FORCES RECRUITMENT CENTER 43rd & Bway
BUSTED!
On May 20th the Army Stands Down, But We Stand UP!


The U.S. Army Recruiting Command is conducting an ArmyValues Stand Down Day across the country Friday, May20.

The so called "stand down" follows a rash of complaints that recruiters are resorting to unscrupulous tactics to enlist new soldiers, in particular a Houston Army recruiter's threat to arrest a local young man if he didn't report that day to the army recruiting station, as exposed by Houston's 11News Defenders.

This is only the most recent case: the Army has investigated 480 allegations of impropriety byrecruiters since Oct. 1, 2005. Some of these cases are still open while 91 of the 480 allegations havethus far been considered founded.

To date, eight recruiters have been relieved of duty and another 98 have been reprimanded by their commands.
According to the US Army, "a Stand Down is a time when Recruiting Command takes a pause from the important task of recruiting."
On May 20th the Army Stands Down, But We Stand UP!


Stand UP Against Predatory Recruiters
Stand UP for Money for College, not Combat
Stand UP for Paredes and Benderman
Stand UP for our Troops in Iraq - Bring them home!
Stand UP against war profiteers
Code Pink will provide signs, bibs and flyers! Come asyou are, or in your pinkest camouflage! For more information contact
newyork@codepinkalert.org.

peace,CODEPINK NYC

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