Portland Schools To Give Anti-Military 'Counter-Recruiters' Equal Access To Students In Cafeterias, Career Centers

Lars Larson | October 24, 2011 | 3:09pm EDT
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RecruiterWatch PDX is one group eager to take advantage of a new Portland school board rule allowing "counter-recruiters" access inside Portland high schools, just like military recruiters get.

The Portland school board is set to adopt a rule Monday to give "counter-recruiters" skeptical about the value of joining the military the same access to high school students that military recruiters enjoy under federal law.

Instead of standing out on the school sidewalk waving signs and offering fliers, as they have done regularly outside Portland high schools, anti-war activists will be able to staff recruiting tables and hand out pamphlets in the school career center or cafeteria, just like military recruiters in uniform.

"What we want is a balanced account of military service," said school board member Matt Morton, one of at least four board members lined up behind the new rule. "What's key is giving them all the information they need to make good decisions."

The board plans to ask district staffers to prepare an information packet for distribution at every high school to tell students about military recruiting tactics, their right to have their contact information withheld from the military and other post-high school options for students to serve their country, including AmeriCorps.

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