Students notch another win over militarism in CA

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san fran youth at school board

Student speaks at the Oakland School Board meeting

Student speaks at the Oakland School Board meeting where the first JAMSRS resolution was adopted.

Photo Credit: 
Siri Margerin

Youths from across the San Francisco Bay area have achieved another victory in their campaign against militarism: the San Francisco Unified School District now will offer every student the chance to “opt out” of the military recruitment database known as JAMRS.

San Francisco is the third school district in the nation to allow students and their parents to withhold their personal information from JAMRS. The Oakland and Berkeley school districts were the first and second respectively to adopt the policy.

JAMRS is a privately run database contains personal and educational information on 30 million young people, mainly recruitment-age students.

Young organizers have campaigned for three years to give students the opportunity to decline participation in JAMRS. They were supported by AFSC staff in partnership with Better Alternatives for Youth-Peace (BAY-Peace), a community group. Young organizers collected over 1,000 petitions, made a video, and created a theatrical piece. They also held a career fair featuring alternatives to the military.

 In the resolution approved Tuesday (October 12, 2010), the board approved making “opt-out” forms widely available at all San Francisco high school campuses, keeping copies of signed forms in students’ personal files and sending the signed forms to JAMRS. 

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