Assemblywomen Marilyn Piperno and Kim Eulner (R, LD11-Monmouth) have reached out to military personnel in their legislative district, which includes Naval Weapons Station Earle, and have confirmed reports that some schools are barring members of the United States Military and Army Reserve Officers Corps (ROTC) from speaking with students.
They can also confirm reports that a Monmouth County high school administrator denied a request by a father, who is a Marine serving out of U.S. Naval Base Earle, to come and provide an inspirational talk with students about his experience in the military. The Major was told that military personnel are not allowed to come and speak to students because such communications could be “dangerous” and “would only wrongfully encourage enlistment.”
“Barring military personnel from schools is an illegal act, and not recognizing the value and importance of hearing from those in the military is unpatriotic and wrong. Our military and their families deserve more respect, and we are gladly sponsoring legislation and will fight to ensure our military members are given the reverence they deserve,” said Piperno.
The bills, being introduced by Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-LD13, Monmouth), would disallow school administrations from continuing these practices and bar them from insinuating something is wrong with military service, or be subject to penalties by the State Department of Education. Further, the legislation would mandate that schools highlight the benefits of joining programs like the Army Reserve Officer’s Corps (ROTC) or enlisting in the United States Military, including receiving unmatched leadership training as well as student loan forgiveness and financial aid assistance.
“These are not nameless military personnel. These are our friends, family, and neighbors who have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom. They deserve our respect and support, and we will not turn our backs on them now,” Eulner said.
“It doesn’t matter if this is happening in one district or each of New Jersey’s 600+ school districts, it shouldn’t be happening anywhere. This appalling practice has to stop” she added.
Assemblywomen Kim Eulner and Marilyn Piperno represent the 11th Legislative District in New Jersey's General Assembly, comprised of the following towns in Monmouth County: Allenhurst, Asbury Park, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold Borough, Freehold Township, Interlaken, Loch Arbour, Long Branch, Neptune City, Neptune Township, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Shrewsbury Borough, Shrewsbury Township, Tinton Falls, and West Long Branch. They also proudly represent many of the military members and their families stationed at Navy Weapons Station Earle.