Phoenix, Arizona: Counter-recruiters reach out to students on first day of school

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(See past coverage of counter-recruitment work in Phoenix here.)  From the AP in the Tuscon Citizen:

PHOENIX (AP) — Activists against military recruitment in high schools are fanning out across the Phoenix area, handing out information to students telling them how they can get their names off recruitment lists.

On their first day of school Monday, students attending Phoenix’s North High School were greeted by activists carrying banners with messages such as “Opt out of the military.”

Some wore bright yellow signs around their necks picturing a “wrong way” street sign with the words “Keep ’em safe – bring ’em home,” while handing out forms to delete student names from the recruiting lists.

The activists are part of the Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation, the Arizona Counter Recruitment Coalition, Parents Against Violence in Education and the End the War Coalition.

They handed out postcards for students to fill out and have their parents sign.

The cards would remove any contact information from a list that public schools have to provide to military recruiters.

“The Arizona Advocacy Network has been working to mobilize people to voice their opposition to the war. The majority of the American people want this war to be over,” said Linda Brown, one of the organizers of Monday’s effort.

The Phoenix Union High School District prints the opt-out form in its student handbook.

The district asks parents who are interested to turn in the form within the first two weeks of school, said Phoenix Union spokesman Craig Pletenik.

North High administrators Monday asked protesters to stay on the sidewalk outside of campus. Pletenik said he did not think the campus was an appropriate place for the activists to be.

“They ought to be at the recruiting station, not at one of our schools, particularly on the first day of school,” Pletenik said.

“We’re doing what we can to protect our kids’ privacy, but we’re doing it within the limits of the law,” Pletenik said.

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