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ROTC trolling for middle school kids now?

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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 09:47 AM
Original message
ROTC trolling for middle school kids now?
I was STUNNED to see a booth set up to give 8th graders information on the Navy ROTC program last night, at a general fair to introduce the kids to the high school they will be attending.

It was probably the most professional presentation there, of course. And the officer was in FULL uniform, shiny buttons, medals etc. My son was instantly drawn to it, as most of the boys were. Why go to see a handmade posterboard about biology when you can see full color pictures of camo outfits, big guns, etc.

My first reaction as a Mother was to mumble dear God -- 8th graders? And then to tell my son (in front of the officer) that we should move on. I told him (loud enough for the officer to hear) that I DIDN'T approve of the armed services trolling for more bodies for IRAQ. I know the officer heard me, because his face turned red.

I know I'll probably get jumped on by the vets who post here, but as a Mother I find this level of *recruitment* obscene. They are ENTIRELY too young to understand the full ramification of what they could be getting into. And I came away angry about this, not just at the ROTC - but at the school as well. I personally feel betrayed by a system that I trust with the care and training of my son. WHY are the schools allowing the recruiters to talk to kids THIS young?

I'm NOT sorry for making the recruitment guy feel embarrassment. I'm NOT going to apologize for my anger. But I find myself grieving for the kids who don't have parents that will advise them to stop and think before they join.

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BushOut06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
1. They've been trolling for kids for quite some time now
Have you been seeing all these ads on TV lately? They show servicemen doing things that would appeal to teenagers. What they DON'T tell you is that your chance of getting one of those jobs is about next-to-none.

Not to mention the glut of military video games that have been overwhelming kids these past few years.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 10:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I know, but the ads are kind of *not directly in my space* like the officer was
We discuss those ads at home, and I do my best to try to point out how those ads project false views of life in service, especially now.

This was my first real reality check. While I know the recruiter is *only doing his job* I couldn't help but get angry. REALLY angry. To me these kids are still babies.



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madame defarge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 09:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. I absolutely agree!
Complain to the superintendent of your school district. This is WAY out of line.

The alternative is to make sure that there is a Peace group represented in the table next to the ROTC to distribute information like you'll find here ==>. http://www.mtdpc.org/flyers/doyouknow_v2c.pdf (Mount Diablo California Peace Center link to a flyer called "DO YOU HAVE FRIENDS WHO ARE THINKING OF ENLISTING?")

But recruiting 8th graders is totally out of line.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. thank you for the link!
I'm printing out copies of this for my son.

He's been talking to kids in school, trying to get them to do the research about Iraq and this meaningless war. That flyer is powerful info.

I was just reviewing the handouts given to us from the school and it seems to me that there is a very subtle *push* to consider serving if you aren't college prep or tech school material. I personally don't think there should be ANY mention of joining the service at this level of their schooling. But it's right there, bold as brass.

When did we give up on the kids who would need a bigger push to get into college? Is this part of No Child Left Behind -- culling the stragglers before they can even make good choices? They cannot make the grade, so let's sign them up as cannon fodder out of the gate?

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madame defarge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Here's an article you might be interested in
The Recruitment Minefield from Rethinking Schools Online
http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/19_03/recr193....
"Critical literacy activities can protect students against predatory military recruiting"
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. here's another site for
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
5. Apparently 15-year-olds are getting too smart
The military is bumping down to 13-year-olds to sell the myth of redemptive violence.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 10:44 AM
Response to Original message
7. ROTC or JROTC
College or High School.

I get flamed for it here but I am a supporter of JROTC in high schools.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. I know 3 fatherless kids that benefitted greatly from JROTC in HS
none of them joined the military but the discipline and guidance learned in JROTC was very helpful to them. They likely would not have graduated from HS and ended up incarcerated without it.

It certainly isn't for everyone but there is a place for it in our society.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. there are other programs to teach discipline and guidance
And they are played DOWN, in favor of this ROTC program.

Recruiters DON'T belong in our schools.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. The world is not one size fits all.
if you don't want JROTC in your school system and feel you have a right to take that option out of the hands of parents then more power to you.

Personally, I think there's room for all the programs that will help kids. I used to not be particularly fond of sports programs in schools because I think they take money away from academics. Then we had a foster kid who actually improved his grades and behavior once he got into the baseball program. Thanks to the baseball he played in school he was able to end up in college instead of jail.

Whatever works.
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Spangle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
12. It's been in schools for a long time
Not all who do it, actually join the services after graduation. Of course, there is even MORE presure to do so. I would think.

I've seen how ROTC has actually helped some kids. The displene, focus on studys, etc. I've seen kids to a year of it, and not sign up the following year. So i think they are not 'stuck' in it until they graduate. And they can get kicked out of ROTC, that much I know.

While the military might be trolling, that doesn't mean that the guy actually running the rotc at your campus is. He is more likely to be like the campus cop on duty there. Knows the kids, cares about the kids, etc. He might be excited about THAT part of the job. There are alot of kids out there that do benifite from 'that kind' of structure and motivations. Lots of orginizations out there come up with ways to work with kids as a form of 'help." After school sports problems are pretty much geared that way. SOME of those sports programs are in place and ran by parents who think their kids is going to be the next 'star.' and the program is training for that. But that isn't why all the kids are there and why all the parents have their kids there. ROTC is pretty much the same way.

If that is how that guy felt about his job, you just trashed what all he felt like he was doing for the kids.

Of course, that is a big IF. Who knows what that guy thinks about his job.
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