Counter recruitment continues in U-46 school district, despite opposition that has generated a new ‘Parents for a Say’ initiative
Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford -
The counter recruitment effort in U-46 School District, which is the second largest school district in Illinois after Chicago, was begun several years ago by Bettina Perillo. She is a member of Highland Avenue Church of the Brethren in Elgin, and a member of Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice. The effort began with a counter recruitment table at Elgin High School once a month.
As more volunteers joined in and the work gained sponsorship from the two above-named groups, the effort ran into criticism and active opposition from school administrators. Supporters went to the school district board meetings to express the need for counter recruitment in the high schools, meetings were held with school district officials including the school district lawyer, and meetings were held with members of the administration at Elgin High School. With help from AFSC in Chicago, who gave advice and helped speak to the school district board about the legal requirement for equal access to high schools that are visited by military recruiters, the counter recruitment effort was given equal access.
Since then, counter recruitment tables have been at Elgin High School and Larkin High School (also in Elgin) once a month, and for a couple of years also were at South Elgin High School.