Abusive Recruitment Practices? Not Now, Not Ever

Last night, I participated at a press conference to unveil a human rights resolution opposing the proposed DeKalb County Marine Corp. Institute (DCMI). DCMI would expose students as young as 14 to military discipline, military culture, and military training. It will be funded in part by the Marine Corps out of its recruitment budget and could become a pipeline for targeted minority recruitment into the military.

The school was originally slated to open in August. Due to the strong community mobilization against this proposal, the DeKalb County Board of Education announced on Friday that it has postponed the opening date. While celebrating this victory yesterday evening, we called on the Board of Education not to revive this or similar proposals meant to militarize public school education.

We based this demand on the U.S. international human rights obligations. The United States has ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict. Because the United States ratified the Optional Protocol in 2002, the Protocol is binding on the U.S. government and local government entities and agents, including DeKalb County.

Under a binding declaration entered by the U.S., 17 is the absolute minimum age for military recruitment (even though the prevailing international standard is to prohibit the voluntary recruitment of children under the age of 18 into the military—in fact, 89 of 128 countries that are parties to the Optional Protocol have a “straight-18” standard that sets 18 as the minimum age for recruitment).

In May 2008, the ACLU submitted a report to the Committee on Rights of the Child (CRC), the United Nations body that monitors compliance with the Optional Protocol, detailing the government’s failure to comply with its obligations under the Optional Protocol. The ACLU found that the U.S. military continues to engage in tactics designed to recruit students under the age of 17. The ACLU also found that U.S. military recruitment tactics disproportionately target low-income youth and students of color. After examining U.S. recruitment practices last year, the CRC called on the U.S. to end military training in public schools and stop targeting racial minorities or low-income children for recruitment.

Establishment of DMCI or any similar institution in DeKalb County would clearly run counter to the United States’ international human rights obligations.

After the press conference, more than 30 community members, including several DeKalb County parents, attended the DeKalb Board of Education meeting to speak against any future prospect for DMCI. One speaker also read out the human rights resolution.

Through their speaking out and reading of the human rights resolution last night, community members conveyed this message to the DeKalb County Board of Education: military training and abusive recruitment practices have no place in DeKalb County public schools; not now, not ever.

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I truly believe that you are wrong in this case. I have had nephews that have gone through this training in high school. Some went in the service some did not. However, the disipline they received helped them to achieve an education and at that time of their lives they needed something like this. Better then being on the street.

You don't want them to have this type of activity in school because it tends to target minorities? I believe that the self worth and education is worth more than worrying about being targeted.

Oh, by the way we are white.

Robert Rosinski

I would like to challenge the ACLU into remembering the following facts:
The Heritage Foundation did a study into the claim that the Armed Forces took in a disproportionate amount of persons from minority or poor income backgrounds. The Heritage Foundation found that:
1. When compared to the nation at large, whites were represenative of the nation at large, blacks and latinos where overrepresented, and asians were underrepresented.
2. 98% of recruits had a High School education compared the the national average of 75%
3. The mean income for recruits was $41,141 compared to national average of $41,994.
So in reality the Armed Forces represents a nearly mirror image of the United States at large. I fail to see where the ACLU is getting its facts to base this claim of "a pipeline for targeted minority recruitment into the military."


This is hypocrosy at it's worse. The anti-military ACLU is opposed to these practices, but they have no problem introducing children as young as ten to condom use and other forms of sex, all in the name of "sex-education" without parental knowledge. There are no surprises that one of the first names these far-left loons were called was the American Union Against Militarism.

Sean S.

Self-worth and education are two things that don't require a military presence in a school to achieve; no one is also suggesting that similar youth-programs such as ROTC should be banned which are optional adjuncts to for youths to join. Nor are parents forbidden from enrolling their child in a private military-style academy. Merely that the running of a publicly-funded youth military academy is not only potentially illegal under treaties we have signed, but an attempt by the military to unethically have a captive audience of children in which to attempt to recruit when they become of age (or early enlistment at 17).

And the much touted "discipline" that the military provides is mostly myth; if it was true there would not be the serious lapses of judgment and actions in the military that are constantly exposed, not merely as bad apples, but as a consistent sign of incompetence or laziness on the part of officers. The idea that the Marine brass will provide the some sort of magical solution to children with severe behavioral issues is absurd; we know that medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy are the efficacious ways to deal with children with social or learning disabilities, not military style "discipline"/


Such self worth and education doesn't do one much good when you come home in a box.


That is it just drug them up!

Not everyone comes home in a box. That is certainly a pessimistic view.

I am beginning to believe that the ACLU is purposly trying to keep the minorities down by insisting they can not do anything on their own. That they need a new law so someone else can take care of them.

Robert Rosinski

The self worth and disciplined that can be gleaned off of role models such as Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen are priceless to any and all who would absorb them.
The ACLU should be defending the Armed Forces, not attacking them, as it is the solemn duty of the Armed Forces to defend and protect the very rights the ACLU fights for.
As for Sean S. comment:
"the much touted “discipline” that the military provides is mostly myth; if it was true there would not be the serious lapses of judgment and actions in the military that are constantly exposed"
Name any organization, group, or business that does not have people who break the rules because they feel entitled or just because they do not care. I dare you to try and do what these American heroes for one week, much less a career. Also, the military punishes those that commit crimes or ignores "discipline," in a manner that few outside the military would understand. Finally, Sean S., "military discipline" is not some fancy Government Controlled Conspiracy, it is good old fashioned self control. The Armed Forces do not make it, the Armed Forces show you that you had it all along.
As for not allowing public-funding for military education; If we do not allow military education to be publicly funded, then why allow gay, lesbian, and transgendered education, or sex education? Both of thee things are called "gateways" by their detractors as well. Could exposing young children to these programs affect their choices to engage in sexual activities that they may not have learned until later at a more developed and secure stage in their life?
Perhaps the argument is "If they learn (insert topic) at an early age they can make better informed decisions later in life."
If this is so, why is 'military training' not allowed a similar length of time to be processed? If the military is targeting minorities and poor people, why not expose them early so they can see and decide for themselves as they grow older and compare what is taught in the classrooms to the world around them?

Proud American

You are free to say whatever you like because of the United States Armed Forces. Freedom isn't free. God bless our men and women in uniform.


the nazis had similar tactics in their schools prior to WW2.discipline is learned at home and no armed forces should make anybody doubt their capability of teaching their kids how to behave responsibly in society.where is the choice for those who do not agree with the army mentality and who are confident enough that their child is responsible and disciplined enough to function as an exemplar citizen.give me the choice to choose for my child otherwise this nation is no better than the fascist regimes that we oppose.

responsible parent

as a parent who is confident enough to discipline my own child.i say what happened to parents? who see no problem with someone else administering whats supposed to be their job .teaching your kid how to behave in society and be a productive citizen is the priority of a parent .those who think that a militaristic program that supposedly "disciplines" your child have no clue in what parenting is ,so they take the easy way out and have someone else do it.where is the choice for parents who are confident enough about the discipline their child is getting at home.i think Germany used these same tactics in their schools prior to WW2,how different is our country from the same fascist regimes we are supposedly against.where there is no choice, there is no freedom people.wake up.

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