Santa Maria High School Family Forum; Military Recruiters On Campus

IMG_6779I found the informational meeting at the Santa Maria Public Library, Santa Maria High School Family Forum; Military Recruiters On Campus, inspiring and very revealing of primordial sentiments held by loving parents and community members resistant to the presence of military recruiting tactics on Santa Maria Joint Unified School District campuses. Testimonials from event sponsors: Truth in Recruitment, Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project/ El Proyecto Mixteco/Indígena Organización Comunitaria (MICOP), and Importa, as well as high school staff, parents and students were exceptional, each giving their own point of view of where emphasis should be focused to further the well-being of the students. Excessive military recruiter presence was demonstrated during the evening in a power point and digital recordings.

Testimony was markedly in favor of providing students with the skills and resources necessary to improve their developing reasoning powers, abilities, and career formation. In order to achieve this, attendees requested to be protected from the leering tactics of beguiling military job classifications and so-called “benefits” invented by military recruiting professionals. The need for a philosophy of peace was expressed by attendees, and as might be expected a testimonial was given that clearly shows the disillusionment that awaits uninformed enlistees. One example was given by the parent of a 19 year old son now awaiting orders from his post in Japan to Korea, a fretful status unwanted by both this new recruit and his parents.

–Michael Cervantes, Vietnam War veteran, infantry, and Veteran for Peace member

 

Santa Maria High School Family Forum: Military Recruiters On Campus

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Date:          Tuesday, February 27, 2018  

                    5:30 – 6:00 pm — Pupusas dinner

                    6:00 – 7:30 pm — Forum

Location:     Santa Maria Public Library, Shepard Hall

                    421 So. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 94358

Santa Maria High School teachers and families have voiced concern about military recruiters on campus and the presence of a National Guard Recruiter, whose office is named W.A.R. (We All Rise), on campus.

In a cooperative effort to address these concerns, this forum will review:

  • The history of this military recruiter presence,
  • The ethics of a military recruiter having an office on school grounds,
  • A family’s right to protect their children’s privacy, and
  • How students and parents would like to address this issue.

There also will be discussion of recruiters on campus, in general.

This forum is co-sponsored by the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project called El Proyecto Mixteco Indigena Comunitaria (MICOP), the Fund for Santa Barbara, Importa, the McCune Foundation and Truth in Recruitment.

You are cordially invited to join us!  Language translation and dinner will be provided.

Foro Familiar para Santa Maria High School:

Reclutadores Militares en el campus

Fecha y Horario:  Martes, Febrero 27, 2018  

5:30 – 6:00 pm — Pupusas cena

6:00 – 7:30 pm — Foro

Ubicacion:  Biblioteca Publica de Santa Maria, Shepard Hall

421 So. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 94358

Los padres y maestros de Santa Maria High School han expresado una intranquilidad con el reclutador de la Guardia Nacional. El cual tiene una oficina personal dentro del plantel educativo.

En un esfuerzo por restaurar la calma de los padres este foro hablara sobre:

  • El origen de esta oficina de reclutamiento,
  • Es apropiado tener esta oficina,
  • Información sobre los derechos de privacidad de los estudiantes y
  • Que hacer respecto a esta oficina.

También habrá una discusión general sobre la presencia de reclutadores en los planteles educativos.

Este foro esta copatrocinado por El Proyecto Mixteco Indigena Comunitario (MICOP), el Fund for Santa Barbara, Importa, la fundación McCune y por Truth in Recruitment.

¡Usted está cordialmente invitado!  Interpretación de idiomas y la cena serán provistos.

Carpinteria High School Tabling

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Michael, Elizabeth, and Fernando, of Truth in Recruitment, tabled at a Carpinteria High School community service fair sponsored by SB County Partners in Education on Friday December 1, 2017. The Wheel of Fortune was themed “Resisters and Veterans.” Michael, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, discussed whistleblower and veteran Chelsea Manning’s impact with one inquisitive student.

Several students wrote in the comment book, based on a prompt about Rosa Parks’ role in Civil Rights (December 1 was the anniversary of her being arrested for not giving up her seat on a segregated bus). They would take stands against racism, for peace and in favor of net neutrality.  Students also participated in the penny poll exercise indicating what priorities should receive government funding (with each penny representing one million dollars). Education, humanitarian aid, and environmentalism were popular; however two students put their entire $10 million in the jar marked “military” which then led to a lively debate.

One student told them he was signed up for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), which meant that he could be heading to boot camp after he graduated. (See links on this website for DEP cancellation forms) Fernando spoke with him about his options and the student left with literature about getting out of the program should he change his mind. By the end, many students were intrigued enough to request literature that offered alternative perspectives on the military.

Santa Barbara High School Community Service Fair on Friday, October 27

On a Friday morning, October 27, at Santa Barbara High School,  I joined Fernando and Kate during  Santa Barbara High School’s Community Service Fair. As I arrived at the Truth in Recruitment table, students were swarming around while asking questions and playing games.  At the Wheel of Fortune, Fernando and students were talking about the financial realities of a military career and other questions posed by the wheel. Kate guided a small group to ‘vote with their dollars’ as if they were members of Congress deciding how to allocate funds for the national budget.  Students doled out the coins while considering the consequences of distributing money between education, humanitarian aid, environment, the prison system and the military.  In a comment book, people took turns writing about the ways they are proud of their heritage.  All these young people walked away with bracelets that read: Question Authority.

Several teachers and students told us they were grateful that Truth in Recruitment was there.

It was fun.

Barb Parmet

Dos Pueblos High School Community Service Fair reveals insights of students

On Friday, October 6, we were down at the Dos Pueblos High School Community Service Fair talking to students about alternatives to the military. During their lunchtime several students took their time to learn about many shortcomings that a military career drags around with it, from incompatible job training, to deep mental trauma.

It was great to interact with those who we work so hard to help, and the engagement was fantastic! Students were introduced to important questions that one might not consider when signing up but are absolutely crucial, such as, is there any way to lose the benefits promised by recruiters, or what are the terms of a military contract.

A couple of the students shared that their family members had been in the military. One young man said that his father had been deployed to Iraq and had trouble sleeping – he thought that he probably suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD). Another student shared that her grandfather had been in Chiang Kai-shek’s armed forces in China. She said that he became separated from his family and never saw them again. Another student said that many of her family members who had served suffered from PTSD.

It’s always an enriching experience to be able to interact directly with students and I’d like to give a huge thank you to DPHS for having us there for their volunteer fair.

-Fernando Cornejo TIR Intern

True Costs of War

On December 14, 2016, along with the Santa Barbara High School Gender and Sexuality Alliance, Associated Student Body and members of Veterans for Peace Santa Barbara, we set up a display of the True Costs of War, tombstones representing the more than 400 18 and 19 year olds killed in action in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Here is a video of a student playing Taps at the event.

Community Service Opportunities

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Truth in Recruitment encourages students to take ownership of peace issues and the meaning of citizenship– to voice their perspective on recruiters and militarism.

Our community service opportunities for students include: creating and helping set up displays, designing artwork for social media, flyers and informational materials, working and meeting with school clubs, administrators, staff and parent groups. We welcome your involvement in this effort!

(Photo Credit)