For years, Sally Ferrell has been asking permission of the Wilkes County School Board to have access to high school students in order to offer a divergent view of military life than the one presented by Army recruiters. School Superintendent Stephen Laws has argued she was denied permission because her criticism of the armed forces violated school policy. The American Civil Liberties Union has argued for years that peace activists should have equal opportunity to talk with high school students concerning the advantages or disadvantages of military service. The school board has finally agreed to allow her to enter the high school.
Peace activists argue the Army tends to target high schools in urban poor areas or rural schools because so many graduates are not going on to college nor will they find high paying jobs. Of course, Superintendent Laws is not happy about the agreement between the school board and the ACLU. “We allow recruiters into the schools to recruit for post-high school opportunities. But, she wasn’t offering that.” Perhaps, she was offering something better than a job– life itself.