Law & Courts

Military Recruitment Ignites an Arizona Rhetorical Firefight

By Katie Ash — September 10, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Exercising his own First Amendment rights, Arizona state schools Superintendent Tom Horne recently criticized opponents of military recruitment for targeting students with their message— and heard howls of protest in return.

During the first weeks of school in August, members of several activist groups— including the Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation, the Arizona Counter Recruitment Coalition, and Parents Against Violence in Education—stood outside Phoenix-area high schools to distribute preaddressed, postage-paid postcards that would require military recruiters to take students off their contact lists.

The No Child Left Behind Act requires schools that receive federal funding to provide contact information for each student to the U.S. armed forces. Parents can choose to keep their children’s names off the list.

Recruiters’ outreach to high school students has been controversial. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Defense, responding to a lawsuit, clarified what kind of information could be collected and how students could remove their names from the database. (“Defense Dept. Settles Suit on Student-Recruiting Database,” Jan. 17, 2007.)

Mr. Horne, however, isn’t keen on activists walking high school students through that process. “To have adults teaching students to be hostile to the military institutions that defend our freedom is educationally dysfunctional,” the state chief said in a statement. “I urge these adults to look in the mirror and decide to do something constructive for education, rather than destructive.”

But his comments earned a tart response from activists.

“Most families had no idea this provision was included in the No Child Left Behind Act, and when they found out, they were appalled,” said Linda Brown, the executive director of the Arizona Advocacy Network Foundation of Phoenix.“We will continue to inform students and parents of their right to privacy.”

She said the superintendent distorted the groups’ message. “We have to respect young people’s abilities and intelligence,” she said. “If they’re given all the information, [they can] make choices that are in accordance with their values.”

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Families & the Community Webinar
How Whole-Child Student Data Can Strengthen Family Connections
Learn how district leaders can use these actionable strategies to increase family engagement in their student’s education and boost their academic achievement.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
The School to Workforce Gap: How Are Schools Setting Students Up For Life & Lifestyle Success?
Hear from education and business leaders on how schools are preparing students for their leap into the workforce.
Content provided by Find Your Grind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Georgia Educators Plan to Sue Over the State's 'Divisive Concepts' Law
Georgia's could be the sixth lawsuit to challenge state laws limiting classroom discussion of race and racism.
3 min read
Image of a pending lawsuit.
gesrey/iStock/Getty
Law & Courts As a Skeptical Supreme Court Weighs Race in College Admissions, 'Brown' Looms Large
The cases heard Monday involve Harvard and the University of North Carolina, but a decision could be felt in K-12 education.
8 min read
Members of the NAACP Youth and College division rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court as justices heard oral arguments on two cases on whether colleges and universities can continue to consider race as a factor in admissions decisions Oct. 31, 2022.
Members of the NAACP Youth and College division rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court as justices hear oral arguments on whether colleges and universities can continue to consider race as a factor in admissions.
Francis Chung/E&E News/POLITICO via AP Images
Law & Courts 4 Things to Know About the Affirmative Action Showdown Before the Supreme Court
The justices on Monday weigh the use of race in admissions at Harvard and the University of North Carolina, with K-12 implications.
9 min read
supreme court SOC
Getty
Law & Courts What Do 'Parents' Rights' Mean Legally for Schools, Anyway?
Conservatives rely on century-old U.S. Supreme Court precedents but want to bolster parental rights with a constitutional amendment.
9 min read
A protester holds signs at a Moms for Liberty rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., on Oct. 9, 2021. About 100 people attended the rally to protest mask and vaccine mandates.
A protester holds signs at a Moms for Liberty rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., October 2021 protesting mask and vaccine mandates.
Paul Weaver/Sipa via AP Images