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Military recruiting in schools

By Katie Deska
News staff
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In terms of monitoring the policies of the districts, Dawsey said, "You send a letter and remind folks of what the law is. We're not equipped to make sure everybody is following up on these policy suggestions. I'm not sure if there were any subsequent complaints or concerns."

As part of the recruitment process, in addition to receiving student contact information, recruiters are permitted to offer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test on campus, and during school hours. The test is administered by recruiters, and is designed to gauge an individual's potential success in the military. It is administered to high school students, post-secondary students, and other military applicants. Stevens, of Brandon High School, said, "As our counselors get to know our students, they have individual conservations with them about their post-high school plans. If a student indicates that the military may be in their plans then they will suggest taking the ASVAB test," which he said, approximately 30 students did this school year.

Additional Oakland County schools that offer the test include Waterford, Oxford, and Clawson. "The ASVAB varies year-to-year. Usually we have 30 to 35 kids take it," said Carolee Penny, counseling office secretary at Clawson High School. In Clawson, students sign up to take the test. "It would be about 35 or 40 out of 130 kids, maybe. I think it helps them establish their aptitude and what they should be focusing on during their senior year as far as classes go."

Bloomfield Hills Schools doesn't offer the test, said Good, "but sometimes the recruiter does give the test in our building to prospective students." The Troy School District, on the other hand, directs students to an off-campus testing center.

In an advocacy statement released by The American Public Health Association (APHA), the organization said the "U.S. Congress should repeal the provisions of the NCLB act that mandates that public schools collaborate with military recruiters by providing full access to school buildings and contact information."

A 2011 article published in the American Journal of Public Health, found on the website for the National Institute of Health, reported that the youngest group of soldiers consistently shows the highest propensity for negative health effects, including, post-traumatic stress syndrome, substance abuse and suicide. "There are public health reasons for concern regarding military recruitment in public schools. The bulk of newly enlisted military personnel are developmentally in late adolescence – a time of relatively robust physical health but not necessarily complete brain development or a wise time to introduce high levels of stress," Amy Hagopian, PhD, and Kathy Barker, PhD wrote in the journal.

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