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Military recruiting in schools


By Katie Deska
News staff
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Rochester Community Schools received even more opt-out forms. In the 2013-2014 school year, over half of all seniors in Rochester Community Schools opted out of having their personal information made available to military recruiters, reported Lori Grein, director of community relations and foundation, who said 876 of 1,232 students opted out. The following year, 69 percent, or 799 students of 1,157 students, opted out; and for the year coming to a close, 46 percent, or 560 of 1,203 students, opted out.

The district provides seniors with a "registration packet in August that includes a form for parents to complete if they do not want their student to be contacted by a recruiter," said Grein. "The completed form is then turned into the district."

In Bloomfield Hills Schools, the notice is disseminated during registration "There is a document that parents and students must sign to opt out. This document is available and offered to all students in the building one time a year," said Shira Good, director of communications and community relations for the district. "The document is also offered to all new students when they arrive at the high school to register for classes."

Good noted that, "We do not keep specific numbers but it is approximately one-third of the student body each year" that opt out of having their information made available to recruiters.

Birmingham Public Schools "provides an opt out letter for parents in the fall of each year," said Marcia Wilkinson, director of communication and family engagement, although the district does not track the number of students who opt out. "We do not retain that data, but very few" choose to opt out, she said.

The Troy School District will "notify families throughout annual notices every year," said Kerry Birmingham, director of communication and strategic initiatives. "We do not keep statistics on how many students opt out, but they are welcome to do that by notifying the district," she said.

Oxford Community Schools directs people to the district website, which "contains specific information about military recruiters in the board policies," said Matt Johnson, director of marketing and communications for the district. "The parent, legal guardian or student if over the age of 18, opts out via sending a signed written request to the board that indicates that the student, parent or legal guardian does not want the student's directory information to be accessible to official recruiting representatives. When that request is received, the board secretary would forward it to the school, and no information would go out about that student." For the 2015-2016 school year, Johnson said there was not one student who opted out.

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Tags: LONGFORM

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