CR Reports

Reports from counter-recruitment groups and activists from the field. Includes information about action reports at recruiting centers and career fairs, school tabling, and actions in relation to school boards and state legislatures.

Counter recruitment continues in U-46 school district, despite opposition that has generated a new ‘Parents for a Say’ initiative

Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford -

The counter recruitment effort in U-46 School District, which is the second largest school district in Illinois after Chicago, was begun several years ago by Bettina Perillo. She is a member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, and a member of Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice. The effort began with a counter recruitment table at Elgin High School once a month.

As more volunteers joined in and the work gained sponsorship from the two above-named groups, the effort ran into criticism and active opposition from school administrators. Supporters went to the school district board meetings to express the need for counter recruitment in the high schools, meetings were held with school district officials including the school district lawyer, and meetings were held with members of the administration at Elgin High School. With help from AFSC in Chicago, who gave advice and helped speak to the school district board about the legal requirement for equal access to high schools that are visited by military recruiters, the counter recruitment effort was given equal access.

Since then, counter recruitment tables have been at Elgin High School and Larkin High School (also in Elgin) once a month, and for a couple of years also were at South Elgin High School.

The latest news from Sustainable Options for Youth in Austin

Wednesday, February 28, 2012 - Our afternoon at Reagan High School Hi, all, Yesterday, Tami and I had a SOY table at Reagan HS during lunch.  Photos and some notes about it are posted at www.peaceoptions.blogspot.com  and here are some of our observations: From Susan: I wasn’t sure what to expect, as Reagan has often been slow for us.  During our visit last spring, we had the chin-up bar and tabled outside for the first time, and that was definitely better.  This time, we didn’t have the chin-up bar, but we asked to be outside, and the weather held for us.  It seems like kids feel more free to come up to the table outdoors, and it’s also easier to hear each other. We weren’t overly busy at the table, but had steady interest from small groups and individuals, including several staff persons.  Several young men made a point of saying they were planning to enlist, so we had a good chance to talk with them, and they were willing to take fliers.

Chico Peace & Justice Center’s Counter Recruitment 2012

Charles Withuhn - Thursday, February 02, 2012 - Counter-recruiters at Fair View High School, Chico, California

Chico Youth ActionUnder the banner “Chico Youth Action”, Chico Peace & Justice Center’s counter recruitment campaign hit the road again.  For the first time in years, (how many is in dispute), a group of Chico activists put together a program and got on a local high school campus.  A couple of Thursdays ago, Chuck Greenwood, Charles Withuhn, Steve Tschudi, and Butte College student, Courtnie Burns, our only youth, braved the rain, and set up shop on the Fair View High School campus.  Armed with 5 – 2’ x 4’ professionally designed panels on matching white easels, four sets of brochures, four sets of flyers and chocolate cup cakes, many thanks to Linda Furr, we interacted with, perhaps as many as 50 high school juniors and seniors.

The Latest News From Sustainable Options For Youth

Wednesday, February 28, 2012 - Our afternoon at Reagan High School, Austin, Texas

Hi, all,



Yesterday, Tami and I had a SOY table at Reagan HS during lunch.  Photos and some notes about it are posted at www.peaceoptions.blogspot.com  and here are some of our observations:

From Susan:


I wasn’t sure what to expect, as Reagan has often been slow for us.  During our visit last spring, we had the chin-up bar and tabled outside for the first time, and that was definitely better.  This time, we didn’t have the chin-up bar, but we asked to be outside, and the weather held for us.  It seems like kids feel more free to come up to the table outdoors, and it’s also easier to hear each other.


Photos are posted at: http://peaceoptions.blogspot.com/

We weren’t overly busy at the table, but had steady interest from small groups and individuals, including several staff persons.  Several young men made a point of saying they were planning to enlist, so we had a good chance to talk with them, and they were willing to take fliers.

Topanga Peace Alliance High School Military “Opt-Out” Drive

September - October 2011 Opt Out Campaign by Topanga Peace Alliance

In September and October, members of the Topanga Peace Alliance (TPA) distributed 15,000 military opt-out forms to seven high schools; Taft, Palisades, Reseda, Canoga Park, El Camino Real, Cleveland and Chatsworth High School all received the military Opt-out forms for TPA members.

Under the “No Child Left Behind” Federal Legislation, schools are required to share student’s personal information in the 11th and 12th grade with the military for recruitment purposes unless parents of students sign an opt-out form.

While leafleting and talking with students, we found that many of them were unaware that military would have access to their personal information or that opting out was an option for them. While these forms help keep their information away from the military there is another way the government is working on recruiting children. TPA has become aware of JAMRS. JAMRS stands for the ‘Joint Advertising Market Research Studies.’ The JAMRS database is funded by The Department of Defense. It maintains data on 30 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 25 that includes information such as your name, date of birth, gender, mailing address, email address, race and ethnicity, telephone number, high school name, graduation date, grade point average (GPA), college intent, military interest, field of study, and the ASVAB Test score.

Opt out forms for this highly-intrusive data base are not currently supplied to the students, and are not available in Southern California schools. TPA is coordinating an effort with the Los Angeles Unified School District to add JAMRS opt-out forms to the student packets that go home at the beginning of the school year. If anyone is interested in helping with our efforts please contact Sarah Young, TPA Project Coordinator at: 310-562-7866.

Overall we feel this year’s opt-out drives were successful and we hope next year to be able to supply the standard opt-out forms along with the JAMRS opt-out forms. Thank you to all that have helped and supported this effort! Once again, Topangans are making a difference. - Sarah Young - Topanga Peace Alliance

NNOMY Note: Topanga Peace Alliance (TPA) Opt-out campaign included the following Los Angeles area high schools:

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