Recruiter complains about school protesters

Sergeant asks Board to restrict groups' access

Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2007

National Guard recruiter Sgt. Seth Beebe asked the Juneau School Board to consider restricting protest groups' access to Juneau-Douglas High School while military recruitment is underway on campus.

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Beebe spoke during the open comment period at Tuesday's School Board regular meeting. He said recruiters were allowed access to students only three times each year and protest groups such as the Juneau chapter of Veterans for Peace show up on campus the same days.

"Every time we visit, we're faced with a protest," Beebe said.

Superintendent Peggy Cowan said the School District is following School Board policy regarding the situation.

Beebe provided board members with copies of brochures touting negative aspects of military training, such as claims that the Army encourages rape against women. He said the pamphlets were found in the high school.

"We would like to see the brochures checked for accuracy and not attack the military," Beebe said. "It's uncomfortable to be a recruiter and facing these brochures."

Beebe then asked for the school to be opened up for more recruiting possibilities, or for the protesters to be quelled.

School Board member Margo Waring said recruitment is limited to three days because it does not serve the district's education mission. Additionally, she said the current mission of the U.S. military is seen as controversial.

Tim Armstrong, Juneau taxpayer and veteran, said he was outraged that Warring considered military service to be controversial.



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