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Military recruiters to return to Anchorage School District

  • Author: Tegan Hanlon
  • Updated: May 31, 2016
  • Published November 5, 2014

The Anchorage School District is preparing to welcome military recruiters back on school grounds after temporarily barring their presence last month in the wake of misconduct allegations and other concerns with the Alaska Army National Guard.

Superintendent Ed Graff suspended all military recruiting indefinitely on Oct. 20, pending review of the program and discussion with recruiters on student safety, reporting protocol and other issues. Graff outlined what meetings military recruiters would have to attend and what paperwork they would have to submit before they would be permitted to return to ASD schools.

"When students come to school each day, they deserve to be safe and treated with respect by everyone in the building, including visitors," Graff said in a statement.

Investigative files leaked to the media describe accusations of widespread sexual misconduct among officers in the Alaska Army National Guard's Recruiting and Retention Battalion, including incidents involving Anchorage students.

District spokeswoman Heidi Embley said Wednesday the district has received a stack of paperwork from military recruiters that includes answers to questions probing into their training and management. The guard met with Graff last week in an additional meeting to discuss their procedures, she said.

Embley said Graff has approved the first group of military recruiters to move forward and talk with school principals. The rest should be approved by next week, she said. She would not specify which branches of the military made up the first group.

"At this point we have no concerns, it's just having an opportunity to review the paperwork," Embley said.

The military recruiters will all have to schedule orientations with school principals before resuming recruiting. The district has not changed its recruiting procedures, she said.

According to district policy, all recruiters -- including military, employment and postsecondary -- can visit each high school four times a year. They must wear a visitor's badge and announce visits ahead of time. One-on-one meetings with students are not permitted, the policy says.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District also temporarily halted military recruiting last month but has since lifted the ban.