ACTION ALERT - Monday October 24th- Portland School Board To Vote On Equal Access Resolution

Military recruiter talking to kids

The Portland School Board is scheduled to vote this coming Monday (Oct. 24th) on a resolution to grant "equal access" to counter-recruitment groups.  The full text of the resolution is at the end of this post.  Currently all counter recruitment activities are banned from Portland public schools and this resolution would guarantee that counter-recruitment groups would have access to students on an equal footing with miltary recruiters.  The War Resisters League and other local activists have been pressing the school board on this matter for some time, and this resolution has a good chance of passing. There are no guarantees, of course. 

The passage of this resolution would go a long ways toward allowing groups such as the War Resisters League to present students with information about the realities of the military and alternatives to military enlistment.  As such, we would really like to pack the auditorium on Monday night to show that the community is behind equal access for counter-recruiters in our schools. We are encouraging a low key but solid show of support. We are planning to have lots of supporters holding small "equal access" signs throughout the auditorium.

So please do your best to show up, and bring a friend or two. The school board meeting begins at 5pm at the PPS administration building, 501 N. Dixon St. (2 blocks north of NE Broadway at the east end of the Broadway Bridge). The business agenda is scheduled to come up at about 6:30pm. We suggest you get there at least by 6pm.


RESOLUTION No. 4503 - Providing Equal Access to Military Counter-Recruiters in High Schools


A. Under No Child Left Behind, school districts receiving federal funds are required to provide access to military recruiters in high schools to the same extent that districts allow access to recruiters from institutions of higher education and prospective employers.

B. Pursuant to 6.20.041 AD “Recruitment of Students by Military, Post-Secondary Institutions and Prospective Employers,” the Board of Education (“Board”) for Portland Public Schools (“District”) has directed the Superintendent to take steps to ensure that our students have complete and accurate information about committing to military service and provide students with written information about military service, including contact information for organizations that provide “counter-recruiting” information and services for students.

C. The District encourages students to serve their country and their communities in a variety of ways including military service, the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and service with other organizations.  The District should also ensure that students who are interested in a career in the military are fully aware of all aspects involved in military service and in furtherance of this should allow “counterrecruiters” access to high school students whenever they permit military recruiters to speak with students regarding military service career opportunities. Similarly, if literature encouraging military service is displayed for students to read or pick up, counter-recruiters counseling about military service may display similar literature.

D. Each high school should be provided a packet of information from counter-recruiters about military service, including information for parents and students on their rights to privacy from military recruiters, information about the practices of military recruiters and the full range of service opportunities for students upon graduation.


1. The Board directs the Superintendent to develop a packet of community resources for every secondary school site with information for parents and students on their rights to privacy from military recruiters, information about the practices of military recruiters and the opportunities that exist for students upon graduation including service non-military organizations that serve our country and our communities such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

2. In order to further ensure that students have access to critical information about military service.  The Board also directs the Superintendent to provide equal access to counter-recruiters. “Counter-recruiters” include organizations that have a local presence and an established practice of providing information to students about military service and career alternatives, such as the American Friends Service Committee, Military & Draft Counseling Project, Recruiter Watch PDX, and Veterans for Peace, or other such organizations that wish to present information regarding military service.

3. Organizations that must be given equal access under this procedure also include those organizations that promote post-high school service opportunities, such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

4. In order to minimize any administrative impact on schools, the Superintendent may establish time, place, and manner guidelines regarding access for counter-recruiters that are equivalent to those established for military recruiters. These guidelines should be in place no later than January 31, 2012.

J. Patterson