News & Views » Columns

Disarming message

by

The search for a new superintendent may have been one big snafu, but the Detroit school board did manage to make at least one good decision recently when it unanimously approved allowing a nonprofit group to present a countermessage to the one delivered by military recruiters.

Finding Alternatives to Military Enlistment (FAME) believes it should have equal time as the military to have displays, speeches and other recruiting methods in schools. The federal No Child Left Behind Act contains a provision requiring public school districts to help recruiters reach students.

"We would just like permission to get into the schools and have access to the students and give them the truths that the military isn't giving them" says Jen Teed, one of FAME's founders. "They need to understand what they're getting into."

Teed worries that students are persuaded by the hope of money for higher education and workplace training that the military promotes, sometimes inaccurately.

FAME's literature warns that the military will not usually give recruits huge sums of money for college, that military training often doesn't translate to civilian jobs, that minorities see more combat and that exiting the military is not always an option.

Tyrone Winfrey, who chairs the board's committee on academic achievement and curriculum development, recommended the proposal. "This is not meant to cast disparity on the military. It's to present alternatives," he said.

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette. Contact him at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com

comment