This house would allow military recruitment in schools

Military recruitment has diversified in recent years to include the use of schools as a platform for the armed services to present to school children on future opportunities for employment. Though not altogether unheard of previously, in the United States it has become a particularly debated subject since the 'No Child Left Behind Act' of 2002 forced all US schools which receive government funding to allow the military to talk to students. In the United Kingdom, between a third and half of all new military recruits are under 18, with many joining after meeting serving personnel at their schools. Proponents argue that military recruitment needs to diversify and expand in order to sustain numbers in preparation for or the fulfilment of military operations; prudential recruitment planning therefore would target children whom would soon reach the age of enlistment, between 16-18 in most states. Opponents of military recruitment in schools, including some parents and teachers, have protested about the targeting of children too young to be fully aware of the risks of military service. This has led the British National Union of Teachers to pass a motion in 2008 condemning military recruitment in schools. While critiques of military recruitment in schools persist, the questions remains as to whether a balance can be found between the military's need for volunteers and protecting children from excessive influence.

Title 
Young people should hear of the opportunities available in the armed services whilst in school
Point 

School children are entitled, as part of their education, to a wide range of careers information, including potential roles in the military. It is a school's duty to offer not only paths to employment, but opportunities to engage with future employers like the military. With university places now increasingly competitive, schools must remain more vigilant than ever that they do not encourage purely academic paths to future careers. Furthermore, nationalism is a powerful factor in school curriculums worldwide, and permitting militaries into schools to talk to students is not an extension of already-permitted activities like the recital of the Lord's Prayer in British state schools or the Pledge of Allegiance in American schools. As such, it comes as little surprise that the predominant reason given for enlistment is service to country1. If schools are asked to ensure that such activities are carried out to foster national sentiment, it follows that military service should be, if not actively encouraged, respected sufficiently to grant the armed services an opportunity to engage with students.
Accardi, M. (2011, June 15) Army recruiters become a 'partner' In education Retrieved June 16, 2011, from The Huntsville Times:

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Counterpoint 

The armed services have no right to preach to the youth, particularly when they are in a trusting environment like a school. To permit any organization to advertise to schoolchildren about job prospects is misguided at a time when their critical faculties are nascent and they are endowed with the belief that what is taught at school is to be imbibed with little rebuttal. Mandated school activities like the Lord's Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance do serve to promote nationalism, but do not do so in such a way as to threaten the lives or disrupt the career paths of school children. School children must be protected from organizations that have the potential to put pressure on them and guilt trip them into signing away the rest of their young adult life. If their choices are to be respected, they must be left to develop their critical faculties and then permitted to use information available to the general public to make a decision.

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Title 
All high schools accepting state funding should accept military recruiters once a year
Point 

The relationship between the state and the schools that it establishes and funds goes both ways; if schools accept state funding, the state is entitled to use schools as a platform for the military to appeal to future recruits. All state-funded schools, irrespective of location and student demographics but only high schools, would be expected to accept military recruiters once a year to speak to the entire student body. The event would be a condition of further funding for the school, however there would be no limits placed on a minimum number of students that needed to enlist as a result.

Counterpoint 

To only ask state-funded schools to accept military recruiters ensures that those entering the military out of school are disproportionally from state-schools rather than privately-funded schools, and therefore more likely to be middle and lower-class. Furthermore, there should be no quid pro quo regarding the funding of schools, conditions for further funding should be related to the success of students and the quality of teaching, not whether the school has furthered the state's desire to see its military substantiated. Schools should in fact protect students, not expose them annually to military recruiters who can incrementally pressurize them into a military career.

Title 
The purpose of the military entering schools is not solely recruitment but awareness
Point 

Militaries provide a public service that too often goes unnoticed and underappreciated; school visits raise the level of understanding for the important job they do. In the UK the army publicly states that it does not directly recruit in schools but does visit many each year "with the aim of raising the general awareness of the armed forces in society"1They always visit by invitation of the Head teacher. Compared to the USA fewer young people have local or family connections with the military, so it is important for them to learn about the role the armed forces play in our country. And in both the UK and the USA the military offers other services to schools, from educational materials to leadership courses and team-building exercises. Sgt. Maj. Jerome DeJean, of the U.S. Army's 2nd Recruiting Brigade, describes their role as 'a partner in education

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Counterpoint 

However it is dressed up, all the military is interested in schools for is the chance to recruit students. The various educational materials (not always clearly marked as coming from the military) and courses on offer are all intended to interest students in a military career. Such methods are dishonest and should not be allowed in schools; Paul McGarr, a teacher in East London, stated that 'only when recruiting materials gave a true picture of war would he welcome them into his school'1. If students are genuinely interested in joining the military, they can go along to a recruitment centre outside school, potentially with their parents, and ask the necessary questions there.
Goff, H. (2008, March 25). Teachers reject 'Army propaganda'. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from BBC News:

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Title 
Young people are aware of the risks of military service and therefore would not be easily misled by military personnel
Point 

Young people are not stupid – they know that there are risks involved in joining the military. In fact the media usually focuses on the bad news coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq, ignoring the good work of our military there. A career in the military also offers young people a lot of benefits, and it is only right that they should get to hear about those as well. As Donald Rumsfeld noted, ‘for some of our (US) students, this may be the best opportunity they have to get a college education’1. In addition, no one is signed up on the spot in the classroom; they always get the chance to think about it over a few months or more, and to discuss the decision carefully with parents and peers. As such, military recruitment in schools should be seen as no less unethical than the visits to schools of policemen, for whom there is similar risk but little public conjecture.

1Vlahos, K. B. (2005, June 23). Heavy military recruitment at high schools irks some parents. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,160406,00.html

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Counterpoint 

Young people are not aware and are, in many cases, deliberately misled as to the risks of military service. School children, conditioned by modern television, film and video games as to the heroism of military service, do not often ponder the dangers inherent in conflict. Modern video games, in which war deaths are the norm and immediate 're-spawning' dulls all sensitivity to death, do not serve to educate the youth about the risks but downplay them to the point of banality. Studies indicate that military recruiters, whilst not actively seeking to downplay risks or obscure the truth, are reluctant to volunteer information that would dissuade potential recruits 1.
Gee, D. (2008, January). Informed Choice? Armed forces recruitment practice in the United Kingdom. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Informed Choice:

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Title 
The military is an all-volunteer force and needs a percentage of school-age recruits each year
Point 

Our military is an all-volunteer force and must recruit openly to keep up its numbers. The army, navy and air force need well-educated and motivated recruits; as the pool of potential recruits shrinks, efforts to attract young people must be permitted to 'intensify and diversify' 1 The alternative is a return to the conscription and national service that offers those recruits little choice. Military recruitment in schools permits the recruitment of only those with an interest in the armed forces, allowing those who wish to pursue other endeavours that opportunity. As such, visits to schools are not about forcing militaristic propaganda on children, but about making sure that 16-18 year olds know about the military as a potential career choice. After all, college representatives and local employers are allowed to make presentations to students, so it would be unfair to keep just the military out. If you accept that we need armed forces, then you must allow them to recruit openly.
Gee, D. (2008, January). Informed Choice? Armed forces recruitment practice in the United Kingdom. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Informed Choice:

Counterpoint 

The need for recruits, however genuine, does not necessitate recruitment within schools. There will of course be certain students who would be attracted voluntarily to a role in the armed services, however these students can be reached through means other than their schools. Furthermore, if the motivation of recruits is paramount, then recruits can do no more to prove their motivation than actively and independently seek out a role in the armed services, rather than having it forced upon them through visits to their schools.

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Title 
School children are too young to target for military service
Point 

School children should be protected from targeted appeals for jobs they are unprepared for, both physically and emotionally. The army is short of manpower due to high casualty rates and the unwillingness of current soldiers to reenlist. This means that they are very keen to get into schools to sign up young people. But it is not right to let them get at students who are too young to vote, or even drive. 16 and 17 year olds are not grown-up enough to make life and death decisions, like joining the army. They may not be able to see through exciting presentations or resist a persuasive and experienced recruitment officer. Under the No Child Left Behind Act, military recruiters collect data on 30 million students. The act 'grants the Pentagon access to directories of all public high schools to facilitate contact for military service recruitment'1. A huge database contains their personal details, including social security numbers, email addresses and academic records. The purpose of this is to allow recruiters to pester young people with messages, phone calls and home visits. Schools should be safe places to grow and learn, not somewhere to sign your life away before it has even properly begun. Upon enlisting, recruits enter a contract that legally binds them to the Armed Forces for up to six years2; school children should not be exposed to pressure to sign their young adolescence away.
Berg, M. (2005, February 23). Military recruiters have unrivaled access to schools. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Common Dreams: 
Gee, D. (2008, January). Informed Choice? Armed forces recruitment practice in the United Kingdom. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Informed Choice:

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Counterpoint 

School children are not targeted for military service; the intention is to raise awareness about the work that the military do. A Ministry of Defence spokesman in the UK stated that they 'visit about 1,000 schools a year only at the invitation of the school – with the aim of raising the general awareness of their armed forces in society, not to recruit’. Furthermore, children interested in a military career are not instantly signed up, they are granted the time until they turn 18 to decide. In addition, before official enlistment, all potential recruits are sent away on a six-week camp to find out what a career in the army will be like1

1 Goff, H. (2008, March 25). Teachers reject 'Army propaganda'. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7311917.stm

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Title 
Military recruiters downplay the risks of a military career, tempting schoolchildren into a career they would not have chosen with honest information.
Point 

Recruitment officers often make highly misleading pitches about life in the military. They play up the excitement and chances to travel, as well as the pay and benefits such as college fees and training in special skills. They don't talk about the dangers of military life, the casualty rates in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the thousands of young soldiers who have lost limbs or been emasculated in recent years. And they don't mention the impact of war on soldiers' mental health, or the lack of support when they leave the military. If we must have the military in our schools, then they should be made to give a much more realistic view of military life. Evidence suggests that 'whilst staff are generally willing to answer questions honestly, information that might dissuade potential recruits from enlisting is not routinely volunteered'1. If we are to accept the military in schools, they must similarly accept the moral necessity of presenting the risks of the career in a fair and truthful manner.
Gee, D. (2008, January). Informed Choice? Armed forces recruitment practice in the United Kingdom. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Informed Choice:

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Counterpoint 

Recruiters do not minimise the risks of a military career, rather the armed forces have a good story to tell and they don't prevent themselves from saying so. Furthermore, it is policy for recruitment staff to 'explain the recruits' rights and responsibilities and the nature of the commitment to the Armed Forces'1. There really are great opportunities for keen, talented young people in the military, and almost all soldiers, etc. find it a very satisfying life. And compared with the past, soldiers today are much better looked after in terms of physical, medical and psychological wellbeing.
Gee, D. (2008, January). Informed Choice? Armed forces recruitment practice in the United Kingdom. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Informed Choice:

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Title 
Military recruitment in schools is less education than propaganda
Point 

Allowing members of the military into schools is a form of propaganda. They promote the military and make war seem glamorous. Soldiers in smart uniforms come into classes with specially-made videos and powerful weapons, making violence and state-organised murder seem cool. A recent report into the practice stated 'key messages are routinely tailored to children's interests: military roles are promoted as glamorous…(and) warfare is portrayed as game-like and enjoyable.’1 This encourages young people to support aggressive action abroad. It also promotes an unthinking loyalty to the state, whether its actions are right or wrong. By allowing the military in, schools are signalling to their students that these things are OK.

1 Gee, D. (2008, January). Informed Choice? Armed forces recruitment practice in the United Kingdom. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Informed Choice: http://www.informedchoice.org.uk/informedchoice/index.php

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Counterpoint 

Military presentations in schools are not designed to be propaganda for their institutions, or the state as a whole, but educate the school children as to the undeniably important role that they play. State survival invariably is dependent upon the existence of a strong, well-trained armed force filled with motivated volunteers. Furthermore, demonstrations of modern technology and smart uniforms do not paint an unfair or inaccurate image of contemporary warfare. Such examples in fact illustrate the honesty of militaries in their portrayal to school children of modern combat. They act as not merely an educational tool, but a life lesson, demonstrating that the world of their video games is, in conflict zones at least, very much real.

Title 
Military recruitment in schools is illegal
Point 

Recruitment in schools is against parts of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. A set of rules that the USA signed up to in 2002 forbids the recruitment of children under the age of 181. Despite this, the American Civil Liberties Union has found that US military recruiters target children as young as 11, visiting their classrooms and making unfair promises to them2. Though the military would argue that its school visits do not constitute recruitment, if recruitment of those under 18 is wrong, then advertising to those under 18 should similarly be considered wrong. In order to live up to its pledge in 2002, the USA should stop trying to recruit in schools.
United Nations General Assembly . (2000, May 25). Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: 
American Civil Liberties Union. (2008, May 13). Military recruitment practices violate international standards, says ACLU. Retrieved May 18, 2011, from American Civil Liberties Union:

Counterpoint 

Military recruitment in schools is not illegal in the United States for they have not signed the relevant documents.
The USA has not signed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child referred to opposite, although it has signed the UN's Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (United Nations General Assembly , 2000). However, the US military does not recruit under-18s anyway, so it is keeping to it's agreement. In any case, neither of these agreements stops recruiters visiting schools in order to make students aware of military career options once they turn 18.

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