May 21, 2009

Three Students Decline to Take the Military Test.

We need to watch what is happening to our children and stand with the students, parents, high school staff, faculty members and the community organizations. We have watched in communities like Rochester and Buffalo in New York,  Arcata and Eureka in California, Philadelphia's Franklin Mills Mall in Pennsylvania, Hillsboro in North Carolina and many others, people who are resisting the recruiters who push the limits of decency to prey on our kids. These quota-driven tricksters need to be educated about international laws, such as Article 3 of the United Nations Optional Protocol regarding the recruitment and training of child soldiers  (see below and video post).

At the same time we need to make sure are recruiters aren't being abused and pushed over the line by their superiors and unreasonable demands of the Pentagon. Their job should be only to help those that want a military career do just that, not trick innocent kids into signing contracts for deadly jobs they and have no interest in doing. That's a tough one. I'm going to need to become more evolved.

Cedar Ridge High's principal says they weren't being disciplined in being sent to a suspension classroom
HILLSBOROUGH - Three high school students were sent to an in-school suspension classroom after refusing to take a military aptitude test at Cedar Ridge High School on Tuesday.

Principal Gary Thornburg said the students were not being disciplined, but rather that the in-school suspension teacher was the staff person available to supervise them.

More than 300 juniors spent two hours Tuesday and again Wednesday in the school cafeteria taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
Thornburg said the test, which the U.S. military calls the ASVAB, is traditionally administered to juniors at his school and is part of a larger career assessment program.

The military provides the tests, proctors and grading without charge. In exchange, the scores are sent to military branch recruiters and the school.

"This happens to be the best career assessment we've found," Thornburg said.

By federal law, the contact information for any junior or senior who doesn't sign an opt-out form is passed along to recruiters by the school district.

Thornburg said since students can keep their information private, he didn't understand why some would not want to take the test. The results are discussed with students in school advisory groups that can help them identify study and career choices, he said.

"I don't have a lot of patience with people who are refusing to take the assessment -- or refusing anything that their entire grade level is participating in," Thornburg said.

Dakota Ling, one of the juniors sent to the suspension classroom, said he didn't think he would benefit from the test. Ling, an honors student, has a better than 4.0 grade point average and plans to become a graphic designer.

"I just really don't want the military to have all the info it can on me," he said.

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction does not encourage schools to give the ASVAB to students who have not expressed an interest in the military, spokeswoman Linda Fuller said.

Students in Durham and Wake counties have to sign up for the test. So do students in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools and at the Orange County school system's other high school, Orange.

When it opened in 1996, East Chapel Hill High School tested all sophomores, said Winslow Carter, career development coordinator.

"We had such an outrage from the parents and the community that we didn't do that anymore," Carter said. He said he still thinks the aptitude test is valuable for nonmilitary career guidance.

Now, fewer than 10 students a year take the test at East Chapel Hill High School.

Chapel Hill Army recruiter Sgt. Jason Earl has seen that drop off in many area schools. He said recruiters understand that everyone who takes the test may not be interested in military service and that if a household asks them not to call back, they generally don't.

"We're not out here to harass," Earl said.
-thanks to or (919) 932-2005

It makes sense to show this short video from Buffalo again. We posted it a couple of months ago and think it would be relevant and useful for all to see again.

Military Recruiting - JROTC Automatic Enrollment from Radio Civil Liberties on Vimeo.

Article 3 of the United Nations Optional Protocol on the involvement of children in armed conflict, ratified by 54 countries, has adopted 18 years of age as the acceptable minimum standard for Armed Forces recruitment and training of children.

Some of the students at Buffalo’s Hutch Tech were as young as 13 years old.

We need to watch, protest and change what is happening to our children.

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