A high school in Buffalo, N.Y., is responding to critics by sending letters to the families of students enrolled in its Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program, asking them to give permission for their children to participate.
The New York Civil Liberties Union alleged in a letter this month to Principal David M. Greco that Hutchinson Central Technical High School had automatically enrolled the 9th graders in the program, forcing families to opt out, rather than having students opt in.
“The induction of children into a military program is a serious matter and should not be forced on anyone,” Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the group, said in a press release.
Mr. Greco said last week that families were asked in August to opt out of the program, but should have been asked to select it before their children were signed up.
The 1,203-student school has 157 students in the program and 153 who have decided not to take part, he said. The program stresses generic leadership skills and good personal behavior, he added.
A version of this article appeared in the October 19, 2005 edition of Education Week