No Child Unrecruited
November 8, 2002 11:16 PM   Subscribe

No Child Unrecruited Under the "No Child Left Behind Act" passed earlier this year, secondary schools must provide military recruiters with the names, addresses and phone numbers of their students or risk losing federal aid. [More Inside]
posted by EmergencyPenguin (45 comments total)
"The only thing that will get us to stop contacting the family is if they call their congressman," says Major Johannes Paraan, head U.S. Army recruiter for Vermont and northeastern New York. "Or maybe if the kid died, we'll take them off our list."

This sort of arrogance and total disregard for people's right to privacy exemplifies my distaste for the Bush administration. I'm glad that I am not a parent.
posted by EmergencyPenguin at 11:17 PM on November 8, 2002

What's new about this? They called me at my home - and I have yet to put a 5.56 NATO into, well, anybody really...
posted by techgnollogic at 11:26 PM on November 8, 2002

Are you kidding? Hell, I'm glad I'm not an American! This is appalling, especialy for a country that uses its own citizens 'rights' as an example to other countries. Sounds like you've only got these rights as long as your government wants you to.
posted by Jubey at 11:30 PM on November 8, 2002

According to the article, what is "new" is that schools are required to hand over the student information. If they don't, their federal aid is cut off.
posted by EmergencyPenguin at 11:31 PM on November 8, 2002

I used to deliver pizza occasionally to an Army recruitment office. Needless to say what happened to the other pizzas I had to deliver.

It's easier to break away from your mom on Christmas to go out drinking with the boys.
posted by crasspastor at 11:31 PM on November 8, 2002

Yeah. This isn't Bush. He's just given a lot of crazies the permission to go nuts and drive through peoples back yards in their tanks. God I love America.
posted by velacroix at 11:32 PM on November 8, 2002

No Child Left Behind Act

No. I guess it is Bush. I should have known better than to . . .
posted by velacroix at 11:35 PM on November 8, 2002

The No Child Left Behind Act was passed with the help of democrats in congress, so don't go blaming it all on bush.
posted by mathowie at 11:46 PM on November 8, 2002

Mathowie, do you have a link?
posted by velacroix at 11:48 PM on November 8, 2002

The Senate vote is here: 91-8-1 for passage.

Curiously, there were more republicans voting "nay" than democrats.
posted by monkey.pie.baker at 12:11 AM on November 9, 2002

When I graduated high school in 2000, I received a weekly call from recruiters starting about 4 months before graduation, and two years later I still receive a recruitment letter twice a semester or so at school. I don't know how they got my name/address but I can't really say that other than mild annoyance (because yes, crasspastor, they will chew your ear off if you let them) I never felt my rights were being violated. I simply exercised my right to hang up on them and rip up junk mail.
posted by gatorae at 12:21 AM on November 9, 2002

Yeah, gatorae, but c'mon. Are we seriously going to let every single united entity have any information about individuals that they may want? I mean, you are entitled to your privacy, right? I know you can just hang up the phone, but should they even be allowed to call? I spend more time now sorting through junk mail/e-mail/phone messages than I do going through the real stuff. It's not only pathetic and wasteful, but downright disrespectful. Everyone should be entitled to some peace and quiet.
posted by velacroix at 12:36 AM on November 9, 2002

Curse those lists and their ensnaring ways. Here I am minding my own business when the recruiter called. I went for it hook, line, and sinker, and now here I am. Okay, I'm not that mad at being in my present condition, but it does put me in an odd category. If I wasn't vigorously pursued, I would have never joined.

Kinda funky, with a state org trading federal org information. I don't believe its wrong for the US branches to have a little information to start from though, and I defiantly don't envy recruiters their jobs.

And since some of schools protest on access for recruiters is based on gays and lesbians bar, if we took it out, would they have unfettered access?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:24 AM on November 9, 2002

When I was a junior in high school and loking into colleges to apply to, I was also getting a lot of junk from Army recruiters. And not just mailings, but personal phone calls as well. I was a bit naive at the time, giving away my personal info to just about anyone at college fairs, etc, and I strung them along even though I had no intention really of ever joining. But when I told them that I had (sports-induced) asthma, they told me that I was ineligible and the phone calls and mailings instantly stopped. If only spammers were that attentive...
posted by alidarbac at 1:33 AM on November 9, 2002

Even the name of the Act is stupid...'No Child Left Behind! This is the American Way, and you WILL like it!'
posted by Orange Goblin at 2:03 AM on November 9, 2002

Sounds like you've only got these rights as long as your government wants you to.

this is very much the case in Europe, but it is not the case here, and it will not be the case here in the future. our rights, and the governments inability to infringe on them, is the reason why America refuses to go along with so many of Europe's dirty little treaties.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:57 AM on November 9, 2002

I dunno if it's really on-topic to say this, but unless and until there's a Constitutional amendment to guarantee privacy, there won't be any.
posted by alumshubby at 6:49 AM on November 9, 2002

Heinous. Have to tell them you're gay or an amputee or something, I guess.
posted by rushmc at 6:54 AM on November 9, 2002

"No Child Left Behind" sounds like some sort of guarantee to advance children, maybe educationally. Kind of like they'd be left out without the program!

A couple of decades ago, in my senior year of high school, I too was receiving many letters of recruitment. One had a place to comment on it with a return card. Being the angry youth I was, I wrote things like "leave me alone, I hate your fucking army, etc..." I never heard from them again and I did register with Selective Services as required on my eighteenth birthday. Not saying this should be a direction everyone should take. I guess I'm lucky I wasn't called on by the FBI after that!
posted by LouReedsSon at 6:58 AM on November 9, 2002

Just because they are required now, doesn't mean that the military wasn't getting the information before. Only certain school districts have these policies. The rest simply hand them the register, complete with standardized testing scores.
posted by benjh at 7:06 AM on November 9, 2002

Just treat them like the telemarketers that they are. Except for the "take me off your list" part, because that won't work.

Another good thing to tell them is that you're communist.
posted by angry modem at 7:33 AM on November 9, 2002

The US government has the right to "raise an army." (see Article 1, Section 8) Honestly, I see no problem with this bill, since 18 year old males are already required to register with Selective Service. Think about it... If the government ultimately has the power to DRAFT you, then getting your name so they can ask you to volunteer your services doesn't seem like much of an intrusion.
posted by reverendX at 8:15 AM on November 9, 2002

The SS?

That's apt.
posted by tommyc at 8:25 AM on November 9, 2002

Oddly enough, I heard about this first through a "Suspect Device" cartoon...
posted by Johnny Assay at 8:42 AM on November 9, 2002

Of course, tommyc, because Army Recruiters are in the habit of showing up at local high schools and shooting the Jews.

Here is the text of the act:


`(a) POLICY-

`(1) ACCESS TO STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION- Notwithstanding section 444(a)(5)(B) of the General Education Provisions Act and except as provided in paragraph (2), each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students names, addresses, and telephone listings.

`(2) CONSENT- A secondary school student or the parent of the student may request that the student's name, address, and telephone listing described in paragraph (1) not be released without prior written parental consent, and the local educational agency or private school shall notify parents of the option to make a request and shall comply with any request.

`(3) SAME ACCESS TO STUDENTS- Each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post secondary educational institutions or to prospective employers of those students.

`(b) NOTIFICATION- The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, shall, not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, notify principals, school administrators, and other educators about the requirements of this section.

`(c) EXCEPTION- The requirements of this section do not apply to a private secondary school that maintains a religious objection to service in the Armed Forces if the objection is verifiable through the corporate or other organizational documents or materials of that school.

`(d) SPECIAL RULE- A local educational agency prohibited by Connecticut State law (either explicitly by statute or through statutory interpretation by the State Supreme Court or State Attorney General) from providing military recruiters with information or access as required by this section shall have until May 31, 2002, to comply with that requirement.

Among other things, under 9528 (a) (2), parents and students not only have the right to opt out, the schools are required to inform them of that right.

The major motivation behind this law is found in (a) (3) as well as in (d) -- because not only had individual schools begun implementing policies to freeze out recruiters, Connecticut state law on non-discrimination due to sexual orientation was interpreted by their AG as covering all schools receiving state money, thus prohibiting them from cooperating with military recruiters. The possibility of this trend spreading was a major concern for the Pentagon: they are completely philosophically wedded at this point to the concept of a volunteer army, but that would be severely endangered if they met further closed doors on their attempts to recruit volunteers.

Look at it this way. Permitting free recruitment to the volunteer armed forces forestalls reinstatement of the draft.
posted by dhartung at 10:12 AM on November 9, 2002

Connecticut state law on non-discrimination due to sexual orientation was interpreted by their AG as covering all schools receiving state money, thus prohibiting them from cooperating with military recruiters.

As it should be.

Permitting free recruitment to the volunteer armed forces forestalls reinstatement of the draft.

Nice scare tactics. However, no one has suggested that the armed forces shouldn't be allowed to recruit members. What have been called into question are some of their invasive and arguably inappropriate technques for doing so.
posted by rushmc at 10:31 AM on November 9, 2002

Well, at least it beats forced national service. I'd rather be getting a phone call every now and then from American recruiters than having to join the army for a few years in Norway or Finland. But I don't have to deal with either. God bless Canada, Land of the really really Free.
posted by dazed_one at 10:52 AM on November 9, 2002

On a related note, the feds have recently forced a number of private law schools, including mine, to allow military recruiters (e.g. JAG) to recruit students on campus by threatening to withdraw all federal funding from not only the law school but the entire university (several hundred million $s in our case). They have been banned by many schools because the "don't ask, don't tell" policy violates the universities' antidiscrimination policy. [more here]

I believe there was some attempt by student groups to fill the interview slots for the military recruiters with openly gay students, but I don't know if this actually happened or not. Still, it's a pretty obnoxious for the government to be manipulating private universities this way, so I'm all for student disruption of their efforts.

As for the public school thing, it is perhaps slightly less offensive because the schools are run on public funds, but given the description of the recruiting tactics that are to be used (personal visists regardless of whether parents approve?!), it makes me feel a little queasy.
posted by boltman at 11:04 AM on November 9, 2002

Why does funding necessarily translate into a license to unlimited marketing? The federal government "funds" things like public universities because we determine (via a very flawed process of representation, but nevertheless) that these are things we wish to contribute toward financially in exchange for the perceived return that they provide to society. When did the responsibility for actually disbursing our taxes entitle politicians and governmental entities to micromanage law and policy at the state and local levels? That makes about as much sense as tacking on twenty unrelated provisions to a farm bill to sneak them in under the radar of the public without accountability.

Oh, wait, that, too, is common practice in this bastardized "democracy."
posted by rushmc at 12:50 PM on November 9, 2002

Another good thing to tell them is that you're communist.

I've met a few socialists in this branch of the service. And all in all, the military is as communist as you can get in the United States short of rural community farms.

And Rushmc, could you consider that since this law passed, it too is just as much as 'consent of the governed' as the Connecticut law?

Jeez, they can't force you to join; all they can do is be vaguely annoying. A small price to pay for not having a 2 year forced service obligation.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:06 PM on November 9, 2002

Now that I think about it, single quotes around 'consent of the governed' were just plain dumb.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:09 PM on November 9, 2002

rushmc: I was a bit imprecise in my words. It's not government funding per se that makes me think that military coersion of public schools is less bad than at private universities, it's the public vs. private thing. There's still some coersion going on with public schools because it is the federal government pressuring municipal governments, but it is still all governments that are involved. I see that as fundamentally different than coersing private institutions since they are, well, private. The feds ought to respect their right to set their own policies with regard to military recruiting.

It's not like I think that this policy is a good thing, just less egregious than recruiters forcing their way into private institutions.
posted by boltman at 1:20 PM on November 9, 2002

What these recruiters want is access to kids well before they register so they can pull them off the higher learning path.

I'll have you know that the military does have education paths. First is the officer programs like USNA and ROTC which send you to college and pay for it. And then people like me, can go to college in our off time and not pay for it. And that whole MGI bill thingy. And a lot of military training lends itself to equivalent credits. (like me, as a nuclear operator, went through a year and a half of schooling and training which basically comprises a couple years of college work)

a lot of people don't even consider the military an option; heck I sure didn't. However, the military is an option, and depending on what you do, could lead you to as much higher education as you want. And God forbid I ever take out a student loan.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 1:28 PM on November 9, 2002

I have a kid who plans to go into the Air Force after college.
The army recruiter assigned to his high school called last week when he wasn't here. I thought I was doing the guy a favor when I told him my son was in the process of trying to get into the Air Force Academy. The voice on the other line said,"What is that? VMI or something?"

posted by konolia at 2:00 PM on November 9, 2002

rushmc: Thank you for attributing to me the lowest motive of "scare tactics". I will, in future, be as generous to you.
posted by dhartung at 3:20 PM on November 9, 2002

A small price to pay for not having a 2 year forced service obligation.

But why pay it at all? Why are Selective Service, booths at various career events, and rah-rah tv commercials not enough?

If you've read anything about some of the "persuasive tactics" used by recruiters, you know the answer.
posted by rushmc at 5:53 PM on November 9, 2002

rushmc: Thank you for attributing to me the lowest motive of "scare tactics". I will, in future, be as generous to you.

Okay, if not scare tactics, then advocacy that we accept the lesser of two evils rather than pursue what is right and proper. Either way, I disagree with your argument. I think reinstating the draft is a threat that the armed services might make in trying to gain tolerance of its recruiting policies, but not one that is appropriate for civilians trying to determine what level of intrusiveness and what techniques of persuasion, marketing, and intimidation are appropriate to be used on 16-18 year olds to put forth. One should reason from facts, not fear.
posted by rushmc at 5:57 PM on November 9, 2002

Best way to rid oneself of military recruiters: "I'm bisexual and AIDS". Works everytime.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:04 PM on November 9, 2002

"...and have AIDS", that is. Damned verbs.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:07 PM on November 9, 2002

My experience with military recruiting in high school was a fairly limited one. I didn't get any of the phone calls or letters most people seem to recieve because my family moved at just the right time for the military to lose track of me. The first phone call I got was 3/4 of the way through my senior year, and I told them I'd already been accepted to my university of choice. That pretty much stopped all contact from them until I got part way through my linguistics major. Now their pitch is all about how nice Monteray is.

That said, I've always found the recruitment to be a bit amusing, and only mildy bothersome at times (they do like to keep talking after they have you on the phone), but nothing that can't be endured.
posted by emmling at 7:28 PM on November 9, 2002

Is military recruiting really worse than college recruiting? What about the sports recruiting, that for some kids begins in grammar school? And in any case, when the discrimination policy of a federal entity has been determined and approved by the elected leadership, is it really appropriate for the Lower Snoqualmie School District to be overriding it? Since few of the people I've known to advocate better treatment of gays in the military (and make no mistake, it's an obtuse policy) are actually pro-military in any other noticeable ways, I think I'm entitled to suspect that at best this is a liberal means of seizing on an issue that can be classified as "military" (lets you hold up discharged gay servicemembers as patriotic, etc.), and at worst it's simple anti-military prejudice seizing on a convenient fig leaf. The schools in question certainly have no place in protecting their students from being sought by colleges -- in fact, they actively participate in many avenues of promoting their own students to be contacted by institutions of higher learning. What business is it of theirs to block the military from making its own offers, ones which in the volunteer army generally mean a chance at significant monetary underwriting of a college education? It's nothing but prejudice, and it's using a comparatively minor social-justice issue (nobody has a right to be in the military) as a justification for what they really feel is their mission -- protecting their students from the wiles of the "intrusive", "bullying", "invasive", "dissembling" military. Attempts to claim this is against recruitment are bogus when you consider participation in programs like the SATs is mandatory, and many schools themselves pushily recruit athletes in younger cadres.

It's nonsense, is what it is.

If you want the dontaskdontell policy changed, tell the Commander in Chief. It's his call. It isn't Principal Smith's.
posted by dhartung at 12:05 PM on November 10, 2002

one of my good friends actually spent the time to talk to one of the recruiters -- because he was bored, i suppose, or maybe actually interested. i recall he had a couple conversations with one branch or another -- probably the army. anyhow, at some point the recruiter made the mistake of asking whether he had ever used any drugs, at which point my friend launched into a 10 minute laundry list of the various exotic substances he had ingested (he was quite the tikal/phikal fan).

needless to say, no-one ever called back.
posted by fishfucker at 1:40 PM on November 10, 2002

> Is military recruiting really worse than college recruiting?

Even as a National Merit Scholar candidate I did not receive any phone calls trying to persuade/pressure me to attend University A or College B. I got a few things in the mail.

I think the critical difference is that if I am "recruited" to attend Stanford, I am free to decide it is not for me and drop out after a semester or two and transfer to Duke...or apply to McDonald's for a job, if I prefer. The military does not offer this option, so the potential consequences and cost of being persuaded by their spiel is a lot higher.
posted by rushmc at 3:01 PM on November 10, 2002

Has anybody on this thread noticed the connection between this post and the fact that there is currently a bill sitting in committee in the US Congress for the reinstitutionalization of a universal US draft?
posted by troutfishing at 3:02 PM on November 10, 2002

Well, somebody's got to be in the military.

Whether or not you approve of certain military actions taken by the US Government, one would hope that every person on this thread would be grateful that someone is willing to put their life on the line for this nation. As for recruiting high schoolers, I would hope that the parents would figure in in these discussions re their child's future.

And on a lighter note, these recruiting calls have been a great source of hilarity around my household. Better than those annoying aluminum siding salespeople.
posted by konolia at 4:04 PM on November 10, 2002

« Older   |   The Computer Photography of Arthur Lavine. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments