LOS ANGELES - Citing concerns that military recruiters target low-income students and students of color on the campuses of public schools in Los Angeles County, a group of teachers, parents, students and the American Civil Liberties Union joined together to demand more information about how the military recruits public school students

A group of Los Angeles public school teachers, students, and parents filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the armed services to determine the criteria by which recruiters target students, the tactics and methods recruiters use, and the information they give to students about military careers.

"We are concerned our students are being targeted and are enlisting without getting accurate and complete information on military service and alternatives," said Arlene Inouye a teacher at Roosevelt High School and member of the Coalition Against Militarism In Our Schools. "We want kids to make the choices they want, but we want them to have information about many future opportunities like college, scholarships and jobs."

The ACLU is concerned by the legal issues relating to military recruiters on school campuses. "First, the public has a right to know how and why recruiters are talking to certain kids at certain schools. Second, parents who want to give balanced information to students getting biased, pro-military information should be able to do so," said Ranjana Natarajan, an ACLU attorney.

The ACLU also sent a strongly-worded letter Tuesday to the Whittier Union High School District on behalf of parent Orlando Terrazas after the district denied Terrazas' request to place flyers titled "Do you Know Enough to Enlist?" alongside military recruitment posters in the hallways of Whittier High School.

"I wanted to get accurate information to students who are swarmed with pro-military messages. Whether or not students enlist, they need to have all the facts, not half the facts, so they can make the right choice," Terrazas said.

Freedom of Information Act requests were also sent to the Air Force, Department of Defense, Marine Corps, National Guard, and Navy.

Stay informed

ACLU of Southern California is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National