Some pundits attached the lack of public opposition to the war to the absence of a military draft but noted that the aggressive military recruitment among vulnerable student populations was, in effect, a backdoor draft. The Seattle school board took up the issue over the summer of , and members of the board worked with us and with veteran and student activist groups to revise citywide rules on recruitment.
There were two rounds of changes, during which several policies were modified. Recruiter visits were limited to one per semester, visits were to be announced in advance, and military recruiters were no longer free to roam through the school building.
Counterrecruiters were to be invited when the military was on-site to provide information on the enlistment contract, the realities of military life, and alternatives to the military for funding college.
Although these new policies represented some of the most restrictive recruitment policies on record in the United States, their effect was limited to the Seattle public school district.
We took the project to the state PTA, hoping to raise statewide interest. Recruitment practices are far more aggressive in rural and low-income suburban areas than they are in liberal Seattle. We had two unsuccessful attempts to persuade the state PTA to engage on this issue. Finally, on October 6 at the Washington State PTA Legislative Assembly, the body voted to 78 to amend its platform to limit military access to high school students by encouraging the state office of superintendent of public instruction to help schools conduct better parent education on how the military may contact children.
Be so helpful and so much a part of the school scene that you are in constant demand. Attend athletic events at the HS [high school]. Deliver donuts and coffee for the faculty once a month. Offer to be a timekeeper at football games. Wear your dress blues and participate in school events commemorating this holiday. The behaviors are remarkably similar to those psychologists characterize as predatory grooming, defined as.
It is frequently a prerequisite for an abuser to gain access to a child. In Seattle, recruiters chaperone dances, tutor kids, coach football teams, and ride buses to and from school—all in an effort to get near kids. In other parts of the state, they volunteer to teach gym classes, sponsor climbing walls, bring large armored vehicles to campuses to create a sensation, and infuse counseling offices with the ASVAB—the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test—to assist young people in making career choices with scores forwarded to recruiters.
Nothing in the manual advises recruiters to reveal the risks their prospects face—neither the physical hazards on the battlefield nor the psychological trauma and its aftereffects. During the height of the Iraq War, recruitment goals were modestly low; even so, the goals were not met for many months. The recent collapse of the US economy, however, has been just the boon the recruiters needed. It does allow students and their families to opt out of this wholesale release of private information to the military.
Despite these privacy protections, the army's manual instructs high school recruiters to intentionally circumvent the law:. Lead generation is what makes prospecting possible. Asking a school official for a student directory is one example of lead generation. Be creative if the school doesn't release a list. Consider, for example, contacting the company that produces senior photos.
If necessary, have your Future Soldiers review your school's yearbook s. Have them identify their friends and acquaintances with a phone number, an e-mail address, or any other information they can provide.
Use the phone book to identify phone numbers. This kind of information gathering can establish contact with an otherwise hard to find lead. Establishing strong relationships with COIs [centers of influence]—such as yearbook photographers, school officials, and Future Soldiers—ensures you have a constant, reliable source of leads.
Many school districts do not inform families of their privacy rights, subjecting some students to aggressive military recruiting at home as well as at school.
Our Garfield PTA works with a group of Seattle-based peace groups to alert families to the opt-out opportunity, primarily through tabling at open house events each fall. The army's own recruitment manual mentions the importance of the PTA to the military in recruiting in schools:.
You'll not succeed in the schools network if you've ignored the influencers in this segment. Teachers, principals, counselors, and even parent-teacher organization members hold great sway in this market. Our PTA vote was taken to demonstrate our principled stand on an issue that directly affects our students. PTAs everywhere often show leadership on issues they don't have full control over, including district budgets, student assignment plans, and curriculum. That this issue was and is controversial should not preclude its consideration by PTAs and other organizations.
Public health programs worldwide rely on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure the protection of children in harm's way. We suggest public health advocates in the United States monitor and, where necessary, rein in the behaviors of military recruiters in our schools as a matter of protecting child health and welfare and as a step toward bringing the United States into the family of nations that has ratified the treaty on the Rights of the Child.
As a first step, the No Child Left Behind Act should remove the mandate that public high schools admit military recruiters. We appreciate all the intellectual work of the Garfield High School PTA, the school principal Ted Howard, and the faculty in considering these controversial issues and making thoughtful decisions.
We also appreciate the support and engagement of many thoughtful students through various organizations. The Seattle school board, under Chair Brita Butler-Wall, expended political capital to revise recruiting rules in the Seattle Public Schools, and we appreciate her courage. Sally Soriano was another sympathetic and important school board member in this effort.
National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Am J Public Health. Reprints can be ordered at http: Accepted March 30, This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. One pediatric researcher has noted, Joining the military service … entails absolute obedience, uniform appearance, disengagement from the family, and a potential threat for physical injury and mental stress, as well as requirement for responsibility beyond the personal needs of the individual.
One recent review in Nature explains, Even before you add raging hormones and peer-group-driven rebelliousness-without-a-cause to the mixture, adolescents may simply be unable consistently to make decisions the same way adults do. Open in a separate window. Despite these privacy protections, the army's manual instructs high school recruiters to intentionally circumvent the law: The army's own recruitment manual mentions the importance of the PTA to the military in recruiting in schools: Acknowledgments We appreciate all the intellectual work of the Garfield High School PTA, the school principal Ted Howard, and the faculty in considering these controversial issues and making thoughtful decisions.
Accessed September 27, [ PubMed ]. Consortium for Street Children; Hardoff D, Halevy A. Health perspectives regarding adolescents in military service. Research Triangle Park, NC: Adolescent pregnancy in the U. Hospital admissions related to mental disorders in U. Army soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Accessed January 21, Mental disorders among U. Resolution opposing military recruiting in public schools. Accessed September 22, Competition from more attractive professions, low salaries, and the difficulties of having to deal with administrative hurdles or social problems in the schools are reasons cited by those who decide not to enter the teaching field, and also by those who decide to leave it.
What is do be done to stem the turnover tide? Who is responsible for ensuring that U. More than ever it is critical that the processes of recruiting, hiring and retaining teachers be given attention by those on the frontlines of developing the teacher corps.
The burden to ensure that each student is taught by a highly qualified teacher falls on the schools of education that produce potential teachers and the principals and school boards who later hire them. Recruitment is the process of working to ensure a pool of quality teachers; hiring involves selecting the most suitable highly-qualified candidates from the pool. Recruitment starts at the high school level as colleges with teacher education programs attract students. Most teachers make the decision in college whether to pursue the profession, but increasingly popular alternate certification routes also allow career-changers the opportunity to enter the ranks.
Given a pool of certified educators and potential applicants, it is up to school district administrators and their principals to attract and recruit and staff their schools. Depending on need and the level of competition for qualified teachers in their region, some school districts go about this more aggressively than others. Budget strapped school districts want to avoid paying incentives or worse, hiring less than qualified individuals to meet emergency teaching needs.
Kenneth Peterson recommends that each district have a teacher selection task force, which should be a standing committee that recommends hiring policies p. Munoz, Winter and Ronau present the best practices used by Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky to fill their nearly teaching vacancies each year.
They point out that there are few studies and documentation of best practices on recruiting and surveyed newly hired teachers on the district's recruitment processes. The researchers were not surprised that advertisement of salary and benefits was key to attracting top applicants, but were concerned to find that teachers were most critical of the administrative responsiveness to applicant inquiries and further requests for information. The New Teacher Project study, backed by similar data showed that administrative practices drive the best applicants away and discredited the notion that urban schools cannot attract qualified applicants.
The study found that "with good recruiting strategies, urban districts can draw five or more applicants for every opening" Gerwitz, , para 2. Model education programs are creating schools of professional development, similar to teaching hospitals, as they work closely with school districts to create an experiential environment for their students. Linda Darling-Hammond has conducted research and written prolifically on issues related to preparing teachers.
She advocates for rigorous pre-service development and says that "research has shown that many of these schools have improved teaching practice and student achievement, while building professional knowledge" Darling-Hammond, , p. She also recommends that U. A state-issued certificate is the basic qualifier to teach in all fifty states. In addition to an appropriate college degree, it may also "… include a requirement of good moral character … specified courses, practice teaching" Imber, , p.
All but a few states now require testing for initial certification. School districts, however, may impose additional certification requirements such as residency, passing physicals or meeting continuing education requirements p. Certification is by no means an indicator of teaching competence and certification may be revoked.
Critics say that alternative certification routes do not provide practical experience. Likewise, critics also argue that NCLB's "highly qualified" teacher requirements are not stringent enough about verifying teaching skills.
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