When her son, Jonah, said he was thinking of sitting out a gym class that was to be led by National Guard recruiters, Ms. Rogers, who works part time as a clerk at the local motor vehicles office and receives public assistance, said she told him not to be "a rebel without a cause."
"In this world," she recalled telling him, "we need a strong military."
But then she heard from her son that the class was mandatory, and that recruiters were handing out free T-shirts and key chains -- "Like, 'Hey, let's join the military. It's fun,'" she said.
First she called the Rondout Valley High School to complain about the "false advertising," she said, then her congressman.
On May 24, at the first school board meeting since the gym class, she read aloud from a recruiting handbook that advised recruiters on ways to gain maximum access to schools, including offering doughnuts. A high school senior, Katie Coalla, 18, stood up at one point and tearfully defended the recruiters, receiving applause from the crowd of about 70, but Ms. Rogers persisted.
"Pulling in this need for heartstrings patriotic support is clouding the issue," she said. "The point is not whether I support the troops. It's about whether a well-organized propaganda machine should be targeted at children and enforced by the schools."
Friday, June 03, 2005
Parents, the Anti-drug
Mom and dad are an obstacle to military recruiting: