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Leave My Kid Alone House Parties

Even the Pentagon doesn’t deny it anymore: Military recruiters have become downright abusive to American teenagers. This week, all across the country, the Pentagon was forced to stop military recruitment activities for an entire day to try to deal with the backlog of complaints about harassment and abuse by military recruiters. In short, military recruiters have been anything but a welcome presence in American neighborhoods.

The newspapers tell us of one recruiter who told a teenage boy that he would be arrested if he did not show up to a military recruiting center and agree to sign up. One of our readers tells us of a military recruiter who was approaching teenagers with mental illness and telling them to lie on their applications about their prescriptions to anti-depressants like Prozac. Repeated, threatening calls from military recruiters at all hours of the day and night have become a part of life for American families with teenage children. Recruiters have a terrible track record of downright lying to teenagers and their parents – in one case, a teenager was told that he would get training as an auto mechanic if he signed up, and instead was sent to be a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, without any training in how to do the job. Military recruiters have even convinced some teenagers to become child soldiers, fighting before they’re even old enough to legally smoke cigarettes.

Yet, the Bush Administration has pushed to give military recruiters new, unprecidented powers to get quick access to kids, whether parents are aware of it or not. Part of President Bush’s disastrous No Child Left Behind legislation required public high schools to give personal information about their students to military recruiters. It was also made illegal to refuse permission to come onto public school campuses to harass children.

The same Republicans who are refusing to allow high school students learn the facts about sex are forcing high school students to endure harassment and abusive pressure from military recruiters to get into uniform and be instructed on how to shoot people with guns. That’s a cruel double standard.

If you’re a high school student or the parent of a high school student, there is something you can do about this problem. A coalition of organizations has created a campaign called Leave My Child Alone – designed to help American families to protect their teenagers from harassment and abuse by military recruiters.

On June 1, just a week from tomorrow, there will be special Leave My Child Alone house parties in communities across America. At these house parties, people can learn how to opt out of military recruitment programs, and how to lobby their school boards to resist the efforts of unscrupulous schemes of military recruiters eager to deceive American teenagers in order to meet their quotas. Visit the Leave My Child Alone web site to find a Leave My Child Alone house party – and if there isn’t any house party going on near you, find out how to host one yourself.

8 comments to Leave My Kid Alone House Parties

  • HareTrinity

    This is somehow part of “traditional family values” or such, is it? Sending kids off to go crazy and probably get killed in some stupid war?

    “Just say NO to joining the army”

  • Dan

    Yeesh at this rate we’ll soon have mandatory military service for anyone who can’t buy there way out.

  • Sarge

    Part of the problem which will become evident rather soon after the “selective service” business gets started is what happened during my war. If you went for a job they didn’t even ask what your qualifications were, anything until you’d answered what your selective service status was. If you were draftable, sorry. No job until you had your six months active duty in. So the guard and reserve were pretty much full. Guard and reserve won’t be a refuge this time around, so maybe enlistment, at least for some will be the less horrible of a bad set of scenarios.

    Also, where I live, enlistment is often the only way to actually be able to go to college, make any kind of money or look to any kind of career. I personally know some youngsters who enlisted to help out at home.

    This also happened during Viet Nam, guys stayed over to send money home, reenlisted to help send a sibling to school, or even keep the family livlihood. This is also an issue with some of the people my youngest son is with in Iraq now. The motivation of desparation and poverty.

  • HareTrinity

    Whole different meaning to the “support our troops” slogan…

  • Jose Acevedo

    I made the decision to enlist 13 years ago in order to serve my country. I moved to the U.S. from South America and I knew that I needed to give back and serve the country that has given so much to me.

    The cost of freedom will always be high (whether monetary or ultimately with one’s life) and history has proven that will never change. (Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Barbary Pirates War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, OIF/OEF)

    I am glad that veterans of previous wars made the sacrifice then and that our troops today are making the same sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms, rights, and privileges we wake up to everyday.

    I am thankful of our troops and what they are doing today because I can take my son canoeing vice having to fight a war in my backyard and they are helping spread the ideals of democracy throughout the world. I am proud of serving our great nation the United States and EVERY AMERICAN should be proud to serve.

    We need to take to heart what President Kennedy stated in his innaugural address “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

  • the virus, which has killed an estimated 150 people in Mexico, is showing a sustained ability to pass from human to human. very worrying

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