Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Parents, Vets, Others to Speak Out Against Abusive Military Recruiting at Hearing Wednesday

For those of you who do not want your children recruited by the military while at school, there is new legislation currently under consideration in the Georgia Legislature to place safeguards against questionable recruiting tactics.

Tim Franzen, of the American Friends Service Committee, sent out the following information regarding a gathering at the Capitol on Wednesday to support the resolution.

Parents, veterans and others plan to tell their stories of abusive military recruiting in Georgia high schools at a hearing of the Georgia Senate Veterans, Military and Homeland Security Committee at 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 10 in room 310, Coverdell Legislative Office Building, 18 Capitol Square SW.

The committee is considering
Senate Resolution 955, which urges the Georgia Department of Education and Georgia school systems to:
  • cease all programs and activities designed to recruit children under the age of 17, as required by U.S. ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Rights of the Child in 2002;
  • require written parental consent for participation of children 17 and older in military-related programs and activities; and
  • provide students and parents with exemption forms which would prevent schools from disclosing students’ records to recruiters, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act.

Christopher Raissi is a former Marine recruiter. “Recruiters are trained to work everyone in a high school, from freshmen to seniors,” he plans to tell the senators. “The schools don’t give any notification to the parents about dissemination of students’ personal information to recruiters. If parents ignore their phone calls, recruiters are trained to track down every kid on the list, either at school or at home. I think this resolution is very reasonable.”

Susan Keith of Decatur will tell the committee how her son Martin, when he was a 10th grader at Decatur High School, was deluged with glossy brochures from recruiters. “They were offering him free sunglasses, duffel bags, T-shirts – all paid for with taxpayer money, of course.”

“These stories are just the tip of a very large iceberg,” says Tim Franzen of the American Friends Service Committee. “Increased pressure to recruit during wartime has pushed recruiters to use deceptive and aggressive tactics with vulnerable children who see few prospects in this bleak economy. These resolutions attempt to ensure that parents’ and students’ rights are respected.”

A companion resolution, H.R.1219, has been introduced in the Georgia House.


Many of you may recall that DeKalb County School System attempted to start a dedicated military academy. Due to a poor choice of location, along with a lack of organization and community outcry, the military decided not to act on the plan.


Anonymous said...

What would this mean for junior ROTC at the high school level?

Anonymous said...

Know plenty of students both good and troubled that are making a solid career in the military. One of my boys from my old high school is going into OCS and works in the intelligence side of the Army. Pain the neck when I had him as a student, but couldnt be more happier to know hes not turning over french fries at McDonalds.

Their tactics can be a little ridiculous at times, but the military isnt for everyone. Kids should know that by now.

If you want to cut down on the agressive soliciting, dont take the ASVAB and dont visit any military tables unless you are seriously considering it. Your'e gonna get stuff in the mail from them if you a jr/sr, but thats nothing different than random colleges sending you info they get when you take the SAT scores.

I wish my HS that I teach @ in DCSS had JROTC. I think its an excellent program and gives the kids something to take pride in.

Cerebration said...

I don't think this bill has anything at all to do with Jr ROTC - which is a wonderful program. Apparently, some military recruiters have crossed a "line" in the past and this is just to ensure that they know where that line is. This issue has been broiling for a while - lots of talk about it in Georgia and across the states.

Anonymous said...

Cere: You're absolutely correct. As the parent of a student in a DeKalb school in prior years whose son was aggressively recruited against my wishes and despite my personal submission of the "opt-out" form, I can attest to the "over the line" tactics. I was literally bullied in my own driveway by two recruiters who drove to my home and told me that if I didn't want my son recruited I should complain to the board of education.

The poster above draws simplistic lines. Each school should have a JROTC program, and I personally support the military and all that is done for us by the institution. But I had the right to avoid this kind of recruiting (bullying), and that right was violated.

I don't live in the ATL area anymore, but if I did I would be there this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Cut Fernbank and the only kids who will have access to these AP classes are Chamblee and maybe Lakeside where there are enough kids to fill a class

That is a truly ignorant statement. There are AP Physics and Chemistry in many of the high schools in DCSS.