High school students have an advantage when it comes to organizing to demilitarize their schools and counter military recruiters. The Constitution guarantees them an inherent right to speak out on controversial topics at their schools as long as they don't violate legitimate time, place and manner rules. And when it comes to convincing district trustees or superintendents, students can speak with authority about what they are experiencing in their schools.
For more information on students' rights, check out the toolkits and guides.
Start a club to do CR work. Talk to your friends or folks you think might be interested in participating. Have a meeting with a few people to start the process. Assign tasks like:
- Find out about the rules regarding clubs/organizations at your school
- Begin the process of starting a club (paperwork if necessary, etc.)
- Make a flyer about the group
- Make copies of the flyer
- Pass out flyers
- Hang flyers up at the school, around town at libraries, events, stores, etc.
- Get an advisor - talk to some teachers who might be supportive and are willing to help out (make copies, reserve meeting rooms, talk to the administration, offer advice, etc.)
Look for allies
Allies are often available in the community to support and assist students who wish to educate their peers and organize. Use the National Directory of Youth Demilitarization Groups to see if any such groups are located in your area.
College information sessions/workshops
You could invite a representative from a college or someone who has been in college (especially a young person) to lead info. sessions/workshops on college, including some of the following topics:
- What is college for? Why go to college?
- What is college like? The basics.
- Can I afford college? How to get financial aid.
- Figuring out what to study/choosing a major.
Some colleges have active outreach programs to help students answer the above questions. Click here to learn about one example, The California Student Opportunity and Access Program, which is instrumental in improving the flow of information about postsecondary education and financial aid while raising the achievement levels of low-income elementary and secondary school students, or geographic regions with low-eligibility or college participation rates.
Here are some recommended links available to better inform you as a student. This is a work in progress and NNOMY will be adding new documents as they are prepared and as policies change that effect enlistment. Check back periodically.
The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth 2018-19 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruitment and School Demilitarization Organizing is now available to assist you in understanding the work, your rights, and the challenges to return to the public schools to counter-recruit. Please visit this page and review the materials we have assembled for you and feel free to ask questions as well at Our Contact Page and we will do our best to answer you or your group in a timely manner.
- DMZ: A Guide to Taking Your School Back from the Military
- Using Equal Access to Counter Militarism in High Schools
- Parent or Guardian Opt-Out Form for Students under 18 years of age
- Guynn Notes Toward More Powerful Organizing: Pitfalls and Potential in Counter-recruitment Organizing
- Know Before You Go, 'Cause There's No Reset Button
- Project YANO Resources
Organizations you should know:
- Alternatives to the Military - Lincoln, Nebraska
- American Friends Service Committee Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (archived)
- Bay-Peace: Better Alternatives for Youth - San Francisco, California (archived)
- Project Great Futures - Los Angeles, California
- Project YANO - San Diego, California
- Sustainable Options for Youth - Austin, Texas
- Veterans for Peace, Saint Louis, Missouri
- War Resisters League - Norwich, Connecticut
- Youth Activists Youth Allies (YA-YA) Network - New York City, New York
Articles on the web:
- Chicago-area high school students face expulsion for antiwar sit-in
- The Battle of Berkeley:This War Must Stop
- High school students win right to counter-recruitment table
- Five Years of Counter Recruitment in Chicago
- Counter Recruitment Program at American Friends Service Committee