Military & Draft Counseling Project Action Alert

by Steve, April 28th, 2008

This just in from the Military & Draft Counseling Project:

Portland high school students need your help. Jollee Patterson, chief legal counselor for Portland Public Schools, is now advising high school administrators and the Portland School Board to no longer allow counter-recruitment activists equal access to respond to military recruiting in Portland high schools.

This is a change in long-standing practice. For many years, the assumption has been that, if military recruiters maintain a presence in schools, then counter-recruiters have a right to a comparable presence. In practice, this usually means that, if military recruiters do tabling during the lunch hour, then counter-recruiters should be granted the opportunity to do the same.

The National Lawyers Guild has written a letter to Jollee Patterson, at our request, challenging her arguments and her advice to the school district. Her main argument is that, if Portland Public Schools grants access to counter-recruiters, that opens the door to a myriad of other political groups who might want to set up a literature tables in a high school. This is a bogus argument because it ignores the crucial fact that military recruiters are already in schools and spreading their lies and a response is required!

ACTION #1: Please email all 8 school board members and/or phone the two school board co-chairs and assert our right to equal access Tell them:

  • Students deserve at least a balance of information about military enlistment.
  • Military recruiters cannot be trusted to tell the truth about what students can expect from military service.
  • Most school districts throughout the nation grant some form of access to counter-recruiters because it is morally and legally the right thing to do.
  • Jollee Patterson should be told (by the school board) to stand down on this issue and stop advising high school administrators to exclude counter-recruitment activists.

Portland School Board members

ACTION #2: You are invited to the next Portland School Board meeting on Monday, April 28th at the school district admin. building (BESC), 501 N. Dixon St., Portland 97227.

  • Meet at 6:45pm at the main entrance. We will stand with signs as people enter.
  • After the meeting begins (7pm), we will stand with our signs in the foyer behind the board meeting room. We will be very visible to the school board members.
  • School board meetings often last until 9 or 9:30pm. Stay as long as you can, an hour is great.
  • There is an opportunity for citizen comment at the end of the meeting, but you must sign up ahead of time. Call me if you are interested.

For more information, please contact the Military & Draft Counseling Project, 503-238-0605.

One Response to “Military & Draft Counseling Project Action Alert”

  1. Comment from Steve:

    It was great to see such a good turnout at the board meeting last night. The testimony was eloquent, logical, passionate, and, above all, righteous.

    We’ve got to protect our children from these predatory recruiters who would send them off to the meat grinder. I hope you make good progress in your meetings with the district.