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NCLB Outrages

Sunnyside Votes to Restrict Recruiters

Ohanian Comment: Maybe the reporter needs to inform himself of NCLB policy. The opt out provision is part of the federal law. More important, as the community activist who sent me this article observed, "He fails to mention the extremely important fact that the Sunnyside School District is the most heavily minority (mostly Latino) school district in Tucson and it includes some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the city. The policy they adopted was not quite what we wanted, but it's still a win for the students and their parents."

The military is targeting poor kids. And the rest of the populace lets it happen because they don't want their children to be at risk.

I say three cheers for parents and teachers who are fighting for ALL children to be safe from military encroachment.

by Jeff Commings

Effective immediately, recruiters from the military and post-secondary academic institutions will be limited to one visit per month at the two high schools in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

The board voted unanimously to adopt the policy at Tuesday night's meeting, where most of those in attendance did not have children in district schools. Sunnyside follows Tucson Unified as the city's second district to officially create a policy outlining recruiter visits at high schools.

In addition to the visit limits, the Sunnyside policy allows parents or guardians to "opt out" by signing a form available during registration that prohibits recruiters from receiving any information about their children.

The policy also says that "the principals may adjust the number of visits based on special circumstances." This was added after the principals at Sunnyside and Desert View high schools suggested they be given leeway to invite organizations that come to campus for specific academic purposes, such as their Project College Bound program.

"Academics, to me, is the important thing," board member Luis Araiza said. "We're happy to open our doors to academic institutions."

Diana Rix, an academic adviser at the University of Arizona, said the wording of the policy was "fabulous" and that it most likely won't hamper recruiting efforts of any college or university that wants to visit the high schools.

Nancy Hutchinson, spokeswoman for Army recruiting in Arizona, said she has not heard of any problems with recruiters in the Sunnyside district. A call to the regional Army military recruiting command was not returned Tuesday.

Board President Eva Dong said she noticed that high schools in TUSD experienced many fewer military recruiter visits than either of the Sunnyside schools, and expressed concern that the district was a specific target for recruiters.

"Why are they coming to our schools more than anywhere else?" Dong asked. "I think that's something we as a city need to look at."

At Sunnyside High, Army recruiters alone have visited 21 times this school year, according to a district e-mail from school counselor Joely Villalpando. She said college representatives might each visit a couple of times each month. Numbers for Desert View High were not available.

— Jeff Commings
Arizona Daily Star


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