Alternatives to Military Service
Making life decisions can be difficult. Sometimes it feels like you have very few opportunities, while other times it can feel like there are too many options to choose from.
AFSC has developed a booklet to help high school students explore jobs, careers and employment and education opportunites in Western Pennsylvania.
For job opportunities, careers and education nationally go to "It's My Life"
Counter Recruitment ideas
young people are confused and uncertain when faced with decisions about joining the military. The strong persuasive presence of military recruitment, as well as lack of jobs and economic hardship give youth in minority and economically disadvantaged communities a sense that their choices are limited for finding employment or furthering their education after high school.
- My friend wants to get out of the military. How can I help?
- Could there be a draft in the future? What should I be doing right now to be ready?
- What is a conscientious objector? Am I one? How can I prove it?
If you are interested in having a presentation on Alternatives to the Military for a class or youth group contact AFSC staff at 412 371 3607 firstname.lastname@example.org
School Board Resolution Limiting Access of Military Recruiters to Students
In the fall of 2006, Conscience (Pittsburgh group working on Counter Recruitment) and the American Friends Service Committee filed with the Pittsburgh Public School Board a resolution limiting access to students by the military. The text of the Resolution is linked below.
This is to report back on the Resolution to limit Access of military recruiters to students in Pittsburgh City Schools.
The resolution passed however it was a very watered down version with all the heart taken out. The two sections they deleted were:
Recruiters from one agency or institution shall only be permitted to visit a school one time per grading period and no more than four times in one school year
Recruiters shall not be permitted to serve as mentors, tutors, coaches or sponsors of intra mural activities such as school clubs, except in their capacities as parents or guardians of individual students at specific schools.
They did strengthen one item stipulating that all recruiters must be accompanied by a School District employee at all times while on school property if they don't have clearances. There is a strong section about recruiters not being permitted to utilize exhibits that violate the Districts weapons policy. This includes all interactive electronic games, which depict weapons or violence. They also left in place a monitoring system for parents and students to record complaints about recruiters.
The defeat probably reflects the pressure from Harrisburg and Washington the School Board doesn't want to create enemies there and also a belief on the School Board's part that the problem with military recruiters is not too bad. We probably did not do a good enough job convincing them that there really is a problem in the Pittsburgh schools. We still think they believe that a lot of parents are concerned about this, and it's good we convinced them of that, at least.
In the next few weeks we will be considering further options. Anyone who is interested is welcome to come to the next Conscience meeting to discuss next steps.
Counter-Recruitment Materials in the Schools
AFSC is working closely with a citywide group, Conscience, to get material into the schools to counter the strong military lobby. Together we have succeeded in getting the Pittsburgh Public Schools to pass a resolution enforcing the distribution of a letter and Opt Out forms to all parents of high school students.