School trustees consider new policy for on-campus recruiters

City News Service

The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education discussed a policy Tuesday night to regulate military and college recruiting at district schools.

Board Member John de Beck proposed the policy, which establishes guidelines to promote balanced recruiting.

Students, parents and administrators appeared at the board meeting and spoke in support of the policy. Several students from Mission Bay and Lincoln high schools said they had been subject to aggressive recruiting practices by military recruiters. The students expressed frustration at a perceived inequality between military recruitment and college recruitment on their campuses.

“I’m seeing more military recruitment than college recruitment,” said a senior from Lincoln High School.

San Diego High School of the Arts Principal Consuelo Manriquez echoed student concerns.

“Why don’t we have the college recruiters as well?” asked Manriquez.

According to the policy, recruiters would have to stay in assigned areas on campus, sign in at the main office and would not be able to approach students. Students would have to initiate contact. The policy also restricts recruiters from requesting contact information from students. Recruiters would only be able to provide their own contact information, giving students the option to contact them outside of school.

According to de Beck, the purpose of the policy is to have all recruiters, whether from the military or from higher education, adhere to the same guidelines.

Board Member John Lee Evans said the policy would promote balanced recruiting.

“Balanced recruiting would mean not coercing information out of people,” said Evans. “I think what’s good about this policy is it covers all types of recruiting.”

The ASVAB aptitude test, which is given to students by military recruiters and school counselors to determine career interest, was also a point of contention in the meeting.

De Beck asked the board to consider a separate action on the test, which he said violates policy. De Beck voiced concern over the requirement for private information like Social Security numbers on the test.

“What I don’t like is that you have to give data out about the kid in order to get the test processed,’' said de Beck.

Under the proposed policy, confidential information collected through aptitude tests could not be used for recruiting purposes.

The board is scheduled to vote on the policy on Nov. 30.