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Oakland Students' Victory!

Oakland Students' Victory!

Published: May 13, 2010

Youth from campaign to defend Oakland students against aggressive military recruiting.

Photo: AFSC / Siri Margerin

 Students Achieve School Board Victory!

 AFSC staff in the Bay Area (San Francisco-Oakland), in partnership with BAY-Peace, have been supporting Oakland Youth in taking a bold step to demilitarize their schools.

Thanks to students' efforts on a two year Youth Manifesto Campaign, Oakland Unified School District is now the first and only district in the country to have a policy offering students the chance to OPT OUT of the private recruitment database known as JAMRS.

Some districts already have a strong policy of providing OPT OUT forms for the No Child Left Behind recruiter access process but none yet have addressed the JAMRS database.  JAMRS boasts a database of 30 million profiles, all target recruitment age.  It  includes details gathered from the DMV, student data brokers, ASVAB, PSAT, even shopping habits collected by private companies.

Along with including a JAMRS OPT OUT form in the student registration packets, the resolution passed May 12th, 2010 by the OUSD Board also calls for moving the NCLB OPT OUT form onto the emergency information card. Moving it to the emergency card means parents and students must choose "yes" or "no" to their contact information being forwarded to recruiters in a form required for all registered students. The resolution also includes other efforts to strengthen policies that support students in trying to resist aggressive militarism.

 The OUSD board passed this resolution with 5 yes votes and 2 abstentions as a direct result of student-led organizing for over 2 years.  Over 1000 petitions were collected, a video was made, a theater of the oppressed piece was produced and performed before the OUSD board. A resolution was drafted and redrafted and a rally with an alternatives career fair was held. All of these successful organizing efforts led to this success.

Here is a link to the Campaign promotional video:

Here is a link to a video recording of the theater piece performed before the OUSD board: