Should We End Military Recruiting in High Schools as a Matter of Child Protection and Public Health?
Recruiters for the various US armed forces have free access to our nation's high schools, as mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. In a recent paper published in the American Journal of Public Health, Seattle writers Amy Hagopian and Kathy Barker find that military recruiter behaviors are disturbingly similar to predatory grooming.
Adults in the active military service are reported to experience increased mental health risks, including stress, substance abuse, and suicide, and the youngest soldiers consistently show the worst health effects, suggesting military service is associated with disproportionately poor health for this population.
They describe the actions of a high school parent teacher student association in Seattle, Washington, which sought to limit the aggressive recruitment of children younger than 18 years into the military.