Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Recruiters, Protesters, and Packets

The Minneapolis School Board is facing another crisis. Too few students and parents are opting out of sharing student information with military recruiters. The district has gone so far as to print the opt out form in different languages and to mail out the information at the beginning of the school year.

"It's a huge packet of stuff," Board Member Audrey Johnson said.
"It can get lost in the shuffle."

The result? Seventeen year-olds are contacted by recruiters. What's more, they face the horror of saying that they are not interested, or even hanging up! This "harassment" -- detailed in the Star Tribune article as being telephone calls to some who had already filled out the form -- must end. It does not matter that military recruiters often get information from sources other than school records. The "other sources" dodge didn't cut it in the Valerie Plame case and it shouldn't cut it here.

There is no reason to think that teenagers, including racial minorities, would freely choose to join the military. Or that students and their parents would keep an open mind and welcome recruiter calls as just another option to consider. Blacks like Colin Powell and immigrants like John Shalikashvili were fooled into thinking that the military offers opportunity. We will not let young Minneapolitans be similarly fooled.

The lack of completed opt out forms from students in the Minneapolis School District is more evidence of THE MAN keeping us down.

Oh, and I support the troops.

The previous post was satire.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, snti-freedom American Leftists support the troops and also believe Chapter 9 in the Qu'ran is chocked full of peace, love and understanding towards infidels.

July 27, 2005 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, should say "anti-freedom American Leftists"

July 27, 2005 9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a person who works extensively on the front lines of the recruiting battle I can tell you that recruiters do not 'prey on the poor and students of color', we are looking for men and women of the highest caliber to join our ranks. As a 6 year member in uniform the last thing I would want are a bunch of uneducated, foolish people within our ranks who were 'tricked' into being here. You have NO IDEA how thoroughly screened kids are before they join the military. I went to college before I joined, and I'm sure I could be making a pretty penny with the education and ON-THE-JOB training I've received during my 6 years. But I stay in, why? because every day I put on my uniform I'm proud of the job I do and rights and freedoms I protect. I do it for those who are lucky to say the things they do about us and how we 'prey' on the uneducated. Give me a break!

July 27, 2005 11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I also am involved in military recruiting in the Twin Cities area. We will not contact students who "opt out" for the same reasons listed by the six year veteran. I suspect the blame for the "harassment" endured by these students rests with the school district. If a name is on the school list we receive and there is no indication that the individual wishes to "opt out," we will contact them.

July 27, 2005 11:23 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

For the record, I was recruited as an enlisted reservist, acted as a recruiter for the JAG Corps, and represented recruiters as a defense lawyer. I think the position of the School Board members is illogical and outrageous.

July 27, 2005 11:57 AM  
Anonymous ss said...

Good thing American public schools are using tax money to actively inhibit young people from voluntarily serving their country in the armed forces. Wouldn't want to instill a conviction that personal development and self-sacrifice for the national defense are noble endeavors. But they support the troops.

July 27, 2005 3:11 PM  
Blogger redleg said...

After reading this, I had to wait 10 minutes until the tears quit streaming and my chest stopped aching from the laughter. Did I understand it correctly that sending a big package resulted in it getting lost in the shuffle? If, so, send a tiny one and no-one will miss it.

One wonders about if the last of the press gangs still lurk in Minneapolis.

Has anyone explained to the good folks on the school board that simply telling the recruiter "no" and asking that the name be removed from the list usually does the trick? It worked in Michigan for three of my four kids, although I had to explain to a couple that they couldn't talk to my son (who wanted to enlist) without me being there before he was 18. They abided by my wishes.

I can think of nothing better for the kids that want the experience than a stint in the military. But, then, as a half-colonel of artillery, I may be a bit biased.

July 27, 2005 8:18 PM  

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