Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Privacy’ policy under attack

Fledgling filmmakers on crusade to rid district of all-or-nothing rule

October 26, 2006


Buried in the 670 pages of the federal No Child Left Behind law was a requirement that high schools provide lists of students' names, telephone numbers and addresses to military recruiters.

Students can get off the list if they or their parents notify the school district in writing that they want to opt out.

But there's a catch. Those who opt off the list find themselves also excluded from the lists provided to college and job recruiters. And opting out also means a student's name cannot be published in yearbooks, honor rolls or newspapers.

Now, two Lawrence High School students are out to change that policy. They want students to be able to opt off the military's list without being excluded from the other benefits of student life.

"It's 'all or nothing,' and we don't think that's right," said senior Lexie Welch, who, with junior Sarah Ybarra, is working to change the policy.

The pair first got interested in the issue when they decided to make a short film about military recruiting at high schools.

They said they had no idea that effort would end up with them working on a comprehensive documentary while attempting to get the school district's privacy policy changed.

Lawrence High School students Lexie Welch, left, a senior, and Sarah Ybarra, a junior, have raised concerns about the school district policy concerning sending students' names to military recruiters, as required by the No Child Left Behind law. Welch and Ybarra, pictured Thursday at the school, are producing a documentary about the subject.

Lawrence High School students Lexie Welch, left, a senior, and Sarah Ybarra, a junior, have raised concerns about the school district policy concerning sending students' names to military recruiters, as required by the No Child Left Behind law. Welch and Ybarra, pictured Thursday at the school, are producing a documentary about the subject.

"It was really supposed to be only five minutes long, but we kept finding out things," Ybarra said of the pair's initial film idea.

The young women have ended up exploring the intricate details and ramifications of federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA.

The students have concluded that there should be a third option when it comes to filling out FERPA forms. Parents should be able to allow their children to be in the student publications and on honor roll lists while other information about them is kept from the public.

It may take action by the school board for that to happen, however, and the girls plan on making an appearance before the board and pleading their case.

Board member Leonard Ortiz said he welcomes a chance to hear from Welch and Ybarra. He noted, however, that the military recruiting information is tied to certain funding provided under the No Child Left Behind law.

"I'm not sure what we can do about it, but it would be worth looking at to see if there are ways they can continue to have their pictures in yearbooks and so forth," Ortiz said.

The quest

Lawrence High School senior Lexie Welch, left, and LHS junior Sarah Ybarra, right, have raised concerns about military recruiters in their high school and the accompanying school district policy. Welch and Ybarra, who are producing a documentary about the subject, are shown Thursday at the school with teacher Jeff Kuhr.

Lawrence High School senior Lexie Welch, left, and LHS junior Sarah Ybarra, right, have raised concerns about military recruiters in their high school and the accompanying school district policy. Welch and Ybarra, who are producing a documentary about the subject, are shown Thursday at the school with teacher Jeff Kuhr.

There are many aspects to FERPA, which became law in 1974 and has been amended several times, most recently in the late 1990s.

Welch's and Ybarra's quest to understand it led them to interview a congressman, an Army recruiter, their principal and other students and parents. They also said they expect to interview Supt. Randy Weseman before talking to the school board.

The idea for their project started when Welch received a letter in August from someone claiming to be an Army recruiter.

"Where did they get my information?" she recalled wondering.

The students launched their investigation in an advanced broadcasting class taught by Jeff Kuhr. Welch and Ybarra estimate they so far have about two hours of video to work with as they craft their documentary.

They also did a survey of parents about FERPA and found that 65 percent of those surveyed did not know of FERPA's ramifications. They interviewed Principal Steve Nilhas about the role of ROTC in school and the wearing of uniforms. They also caught up with U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., and asked for a comment about campus military recruiting.

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But the biggest challenge, they said, was getting an interview with Army recruiters. They tried to talk to recruiters who manned a table in the high school commons area earlier this semester.

"They didn't want anything to do with being interviewed," Welch said.

A sergeant later agreed to an interview but wanted questions submitted in advance.

"We gave them the questions and he talked to us," Ybarra said.

They told the sergeant they were interested in possibly enlisting some day.

Welch and Ybarra have put together an introduction for their documentary but said they probably will be working on the project until the end of the semester.

Kuhr said he is impressed with his students' work and has lifted time restraints on them.

"They are questioning a congressman, they are questioning a principal, and I think that's just remarkable," he said. "I think that is pretty cool."


janeb 11 years, 8 months ago

I would guess they call often like telemarketers.

oldgoof 11 years, 8 months ago

Angel4dennis: "These girls are to be commended, not reprimanded." .. I totally agree. Ditto my post to Matahari. My suggestion was made in spirit to assist these wonderful girls, who have found a hidden issue of high relevance to their community. Although recruiters' access to this 'recruiting source' was commonly mentioned, and frequently criticized, in the news media at the time of the legislation's enactment, the "hidden" consequences of 'opting-out' was absolutely not understood.

carolannfugate 11 years, 8 months ago

It is good the Girls have chosen to involve themselves in this issue. The practice of including this type of tyranny under the No Child Left Behind clause is absurd. What kind of message does that send; that a Child will be educated if they are willing to kill for their Country. That a young person will not receive information on higher Education if they are not willing to kill. That they may not explore Vocational options unless they are willing to kill. We should support these young women by contacting our representatives and School Officials. These Young Women cannot evoke change at a district level and they cannot do this alone.

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 8 months ago

Has anybody heard " If you live in my house, you will live by my rules?

This is what the government is saying. If school districts want money from the federal government, you will recruiters access to a listing of students.

It does not say these students are required to join the military. If you don't like this rule, call congress and complain. If Dennis Moore is such a great leader, he camn work to get this cleared up.

When I do not want something, I say " No Thank you." Do it all the time.

I think this is petty considering all of the other problems out there in the world.

Kathy Gates 11 years, 8 months ago

So they remove your name from military recruiters' lists. So what? Yearbooks and honor roll listings are open records, aren't they? They could just get the same information a different way.

Evan Ridenour 11 years, 8 months ago

How is it a back door draft? It is entirely optional, you are not being forced to enroll for military service nor are you even forced to listen to what the recruiters have to say. The only thing the recruiting list does is give the military recruiters the same information that everyone else has to give them an equal chance at recruiting people into the military.

Waa, Waa.

It isn't like I don't respect what they are doing and how hard they are working, it is just that the issue they are dealing with isn't even a problem in my opinion. You need to just grow up and learn to throw away mail, any adult here probably throws crap in their mail away every single day! You also need to learn to tell telephone solicitors you aren't interested and not to call you back, I am sure every adult here also has experience doing that. Some things in life are unfair, this is one of them but it isn't worth spending an entire year researching it (when there isn't really anything wrong with it to begin with) instead of just throwing the god damn mail away.

Tychoman 11 years, 8 months ago

Kam, if you're on a military recruiting list, they do often call. One or two a week is normal. Plus all that junk mail takes up a lot of room.

Thinker no one here is "anti-military." We're against this ridiculous policy. Nice try at spinning, but you haven't had your coffee yet.

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago

Girls, you have my undying support. Do you need donations to help with your effort?

prioress 11 years, 8 months ago

Now, two Lawrence High School students are out to change that policy. They want students to be able to opt off the military's list without being excluded from the other benefits of student life.

This is very easy to do; you just tell them "no recruiters" and all the rest is still available.

angel4dennis 11 years, 8 months ago

I think these two ladies should be commended for the work they are doing. It is not fair that they have to choose being in the yearbook vs being on a military mailing list. Good job girls! I hope it all works out for you! This is a positive thing, there are so many kids today that won't help make changes. These girls are to be commended, not reprimanded. Many of our teenagers today don't care about anything but themselves. I would hope to see more bright, going out on a limb, willing to make a difference teenager for the future of America.

BigAl 11 years, 8 months ago

right_thinker... I am a veteran. Unlike most of the rightwing wacked-out talking heads, and many on here, I've earned my stripes. I am NOT anti-military. Quite the opposite. People like O'Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh all talk a good show but they were no where to be found come military age. How 'bout you? Are you a veteran?

A military presence has no place in the underfunded "no child left behind" legislation. None. This is another case of the republicans following blindly and not questioning a thing. This includes our non-vetoeing president.

feeble 11 years, 8 months ago

Nothing quite like the smell of Chicken Hawk frying in the morning.

Roadkill_Rob 11 years, 8 months ago

Wow, I'm impressed! Good work girls and I hope you continue to make films like this one. I'd like to see it eventually.

concernedvoter 11 years, 8 months ago

how can nclb require that we post children's names for the military and this posting be tied to school funding

-- This is the world of George W. Bush, that's how. This truly is part of the NCLB legislation.

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 8 months ago

Bush didn't write NCLB. The last time I check the Prseident can't make laws (exckuding executive orders) but can only approvbe them.

But my main question is lies with the admin. Would the admin tell not tell the whole truth? I have been waiting for a few years to see the money the district claimed they saved by closing schools.

Close Grant Save a million dollars

Close Riverside, centennial and east Heights save a million dollars. We still own East heights and Centennial and have to pay maintenace, insure it, heat, cool and have water and we didn't fire any teachers but we saved money. I don't know but I guess I am not good at EDUCATOR Math.

Fatty_McButterpants 11 years, 8 months ago

What if I just want to, as "carolannfugate" said, "willing to kill" for my Country? Can I opt out of all that senseless, higher education mailings??

rhd99 11 years, 8 months ago

This Privacy policy is CRAP & by they way, GOP POLITICIANS, where is the stinken funding for NCLB?! FUND IT OR LOSE IT, CHUMPS!

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago


Waa? Waa? My goodness you're bright. No wonder our society is going to hell. People like you represent the majority. Your inability to see the bigger picture baffles me, especially because it's glaring you right in the face. You clearly have the energy to defend an opinion, it's just too frickin' bad you don't have the gray matter necessary to form an educated one.

Let me ask you this...why are you sitting at your computer and not in a recruiter's office signing your life away? Get out of your armchair and onto the battlefield. I would bet you've never served in the military. You're just another chicken hawk. Too dumb to see how you're leading this country...its youth in tow, to oblivion.

I'm a veteran, my husband is a veteran, and we've got a family full of combat veterans. All detest this war, this president, and people like you. You've got sh*t for brains and bloodlust in your heart. We're doomed!

Kathy Gates 11 years, 8 months ago

I still maintain that even if these girls do manage to effect a change in the NCLB legislation that recruiters will still contact seniors--they'll just have to jump through a few extra hoops to do it. Read the list of honor roll students in the paper or get a copy of the yearbook and start using the phonebook. Should the recruiters do it? Absolutely not. Will they? Absolutely.

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago


policies like this are what's called a backdoor draft. see the big picture, please!!!

naturalist 11 years, 8 months ago

We need for more young people to get involved in challenging details slipped in by our government policymaker in places such as No Child Left Behind and the national security act. I applaud you, girls! Good for you!!

rhd99 11 years, 8 months ago

Because of their FAILURE to ACT, NCLB is OUT after this November election thanks to a DO NOTHING GOP! Bye BYE GOP!

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 8 months ago

This is great. Maybe this young ladies can challenge soimething else next. How about all men age 18 and over having to register with the selective service in case a draft is intiated. I think all people should have to register.

Roadkill_Rob 11 years, 8 months ago

Wow, I'm impressed! Good work girls and I hope you continue to make films like this one. I'd like to see it eventually.

Jamesaust 11 years, 8 months ago

Look, these girls may exercise their privacy rights or they can forego them. All this law does is refuses the abuse of this choice created by playing fast and loose with the idea of privacy - that one can jump back and forth, or in this case pick and choose. Reminds me of people who obsess about "privacy" but then give out every commercial and financial decision in their lives to Dillons in return for five cents off Alpo.

If you don't want to be recruited by the military then just say 'no, thank you' and move on. If you want privacy then embrace it.

oldgoof 11 years, 8 months ago

Sigmund: You listed it. My post was not a back-handed attempt to get into abortion debate, although I believe it was referred to as privacy exception far before roe v wade. It is not my forum in any way or shape.. hadn't planned on attending either. And this is not the thread to discuss police powers of rental inspections. Although I would be glad to sometime. . Matahari: my suggestion was not to punish these two enterprising young ladies, but to suggest a source of people who could articulately discuss their chosen issue for their cameras.

Evan Ridenour 11 years, 8 months ago

Being on a military recruiters list is NOTHING compared to selective service. You have to enroll in selective service if you are male by your 18th birthday, there are severe punishments if you do not enroll.

I don't see the big freaking deal here. When the recruiters send you mail throw it away, when they call you tell them you aren't intrested and hang up, in other words be an adult. At least you don't have to worry about a draft and being FORCED to serve like all of your male counterparts.

BigAl 11 years, 8 months ago

The military already has access to this information anyway. They can get it from the selective service when people register. They can get it from driver's licenses. They can get it from Social Security. They can get it from birth certificates. They can even get it from the IRS.

This unfunded "No child left behind" law has enough red tape already. We don't need to saddle educators with more.

oldgoof 11 years, 8 months ago

These two young ladies should show up at the forum on Monday night at the Lawrence Library which will discuss how federal security policies are challenging some long assumed notions of privacy and other constitutional protections..... Repeal of Habeus Corpus rights, etc. The panel has some profs, attys, and others. Open to the public.

Alison Roberts 11 years, 8 months ago

Good for them!! I applaud these young women for doing something instead of just being another student who accepts every decision that has been made by crappy politicians.

matahari 11 years, 8 months ago

Those young ladies shouldn't have to show up to defend their rights for ANY reason! I guess our nation taking care of it's children went out the window long ago! BUT YET YOU HOLD THE CHILDREN resposible for helping to get a change in the laws that they were not old enough to vote on! I can't think of a word to describe how WRONG this all is!

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

Two LHS students doing real journalism and investigating their story. This has to stop, they will embarrass the LJW. While I would 'probably' disagree with your films conclusions I do admire all the hard work a project like this takes. I have to agree with your teacher, I think it is pretty cool.

Oldgoof where exactly is the "right to privacy" found in the constitution?

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

I can only assume your forum will discuss The City of Lawrence's ability to search rental properties without probable cause when BOTH the tenant and landlord do not consent.

Kam_Fong_as_Chin_Ho 11 years, 8 months ago

How is this different than the Selective Service requirement? What's wrong with simply saying. "I'm not interested" when a recruiter calls?

cutny 11 years, 8 months ago

Go get 'em kids. Oooh...right thinker is claiming the ability to see into the future. Tell us oh Wise One...share some more of your infinite wisdom.

Evan Ridenour 11 years, 8 months ago

So you are telling me I lack the ability to form an educated opinion by insulting me? God one juliopac. It is good to see such great use of "gray matter" as you so put it. My opinion is valid and I am sure I am not the only one who finds this whole issue absurd. These girls want every single college and the entire public at large to have access to their private information... just not the military. Well guess what, that isn't how it works. A law dutifully passed in Washington ensures that the military is given equal opportunity as all other colleges and employers. If you are giving your information out to everyone it is also going to the military. It isn't a hard concept, in fact, it is a fairly rational concept.

If you consider that a back door to the draft I don't know what to tell you other then maybe you don't quite understand what the draft is and how it functions, what being on the military recruitment list actually entails or what the proper usage of the phrase back-door is.

If all you can do is insult me rather then respond to my opinion then maybe you should just refrain from posting here.


staff04 11 years, 8 months ago

"Posted by commuter (anonymous) on October 27, 2006 at 8:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Bush didn't write NCLB."

Actually, commuter, he (well, probably not him personally, but it was submitted to Congress by the administration) did write it. He wrote it, sent it to Congress, and they made it into law.

He also has consistently requested in his budget to underfund the program by $9 billion/year.

To give you another example of administration drafted legislation, Bill Clinton's crime bill in 1994 that included the assault weapons ban. The administration wrote it, submitted it to Congress, and they made it law.

rhd99 11 years, 8 months ago

Where in his SIGNING statements to NCLB did BUSH decide to cut student loan funding? You can't have it both ways MR. PRESIDENT! You want a highly educated society, THEN BRING BACK STUDENT LOANS!

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago

Hey Eride,

the military gets $3billion/year just for marketing. That alone provides them the ability to have access to our youth. Do they also need education legislation that denies kids a chance to be in the freakin' yearbook? How can you not have a problem with this?

You did not address my comment about you joining the military. Have you served? HAVE YOU? If not, the time is now, my friend. Age isn't a factor. Many elderly folks are signing on the dotted line. Intelligence is certainly not a factor, so you're good to go in that aspect.

I'll continue to insult you as long as you continue to deserve it.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

I fail to see why funding for education should in any way be tied to the military, even if it's only for recruiting purposes.

This is flat out wrong. Education has nothing to do with the military. They are totally separate, and should remain so.

That's the problem with it. The schools already have to allow military recruiters to go to the schools and set up booths if they want to. Schools shouldn't have to risk losing funding if they don't comply with crap like this.

I had no idea that this was even included in No Child Left Behind. I'll bet most of the rest of you didn't, either.

The most disturbing thing to me is how many of you think this is no big deal.

Evan Ridenour 11 years, 8 months ago

I did not address your comment about joining the military because it is irrelevant to the topic of this thread. I would again suggest that instead of insulting and attacking other people on this forum system for their opinions that you stick to discussing the issues.

It makes you look idiotic and it prevents me from getting to discuss the topic with rational people. Also if you could try a little harder to use proper grammar, spelling and sentence structure I would appreciate it.


kef104 11 years, 8 months ago

I hope the school allows a public viewing of the finished product. I would love to see their work.

Evan Ridenour 11 years, 8 months ago

Crazyks, the military recruiters are given this information to place them on an even footing with the thousands of different colleges and employers who use the same information to attempt to recruit graduating high school seniors. The law in question here is only ensuring that if everyone else gets your private information for recruitment purposes that the military recruiters also receive it.

It does not force you to join the military, it does not pressure you into joining the military, it just allows the military recruiters the same ability to recruit graduating high school seniors as every other university and employer.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

I do not see them as bucking the system, or trying to get out of military service. I see two people who donot agree with the law and are trying to change things and bring it to people attention. It really does not matter if you believe in milatary service or not, Buch any of the political asspects this is about two people working hard and following thru with their conviction of trying to right what they consider a wrong. This is what makes this country so great, and it being two girls is an added plus. not being sexist but you usually only here about guys when it comes to milatary bucking and the system.

rhd99 11 years, 8 months ago

Using the military in this case is BENEATH even Bush. Folks, let's get real here. Through this RIDICULOUSLY crafted FLY BY NIGHT bill called NCLB, BUSH called for cuts in Student Loans, FORCING military Recruiters onto college bound students, while THREATENING to pull federal school funding from facilities if the schools say no. This is ANOTHER example of FEDERAL intrusion into what SHOULD BE a LOCAL issue called the SCHOOL DISTRICT! Hello, FEDERAL "LAWMAKERS", did they ever TEACH you numbnuts in law school that there are separations of powers between School districts, Local, State, & FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS & entities?! Apparently NOT! Everyone wants change, right? If you're reading this, then GET YOUR BUTTS to the POLLS in NOVEMBER & vote the EXTREMISTS OUT!

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago

SSG Pilch,

You'd be right if recruiters would take no for an answer. They're bloodhounds!

Perhaps if this war were worth fighting for, we wouldn't need to give our youths ultimatums through EDUCATION policy to get them join.

Hear that RECRUITERS...if someone says NOT INTERESTED, don't call them anymore. Yeah, right.

blacksheep 11 years, 8 months ago

I think it is wrong that any type of higher education is linked to whether or not a parent wants a recruiter to be able to have your child's name. I am on the no-call list for telemarkers but my name is not left out of the phone book or paper (if I done had anything newsworthy). Why does not wanting a military recruiter badgering my children preclude them from being published for being on the honor roll and available for college representatives. Yes, my spouse and I were both in the military and fought in the 1st Gulf war. Until we hit both hit 35 (now the age they stop at is 42)we could count on being called at least once every month for the first year we moved here. After a year they took the hint and only called once every 6 months. The mailings kept coming. It is easy to throw away mailers, but it is irrating to be called all the time especially if you have told them not interested several times.

By the way, the military we were in has changed drastically. Did you know your beloved child can be serving beside someone who was in Jr. Correctional Facility, serve instead of going to jail, not even finish high school (its o.k. to get a GED if you drop out). All they want is warm bodies. Do they prefer someone with brains who can use them, of course!! But most people with brains who can use them would rather go to college, tech school, etc. This is the sign of the military being desperate!

Shame on us for not paying attention and letting something like this happen. This is what we get when people on use TV ads to decide who they want to serve in their government.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 8 months ago

And does every college across the country have the right to set up a booth for recruitment in any high school in the country, as the military recruiters do?

They also do this once the kids are already in college. So I don't buy that argument for an instant. If they don' t hit them up for recruiting while they're in high school, they just do it when they get to college.

Poor, poor military. They have so few options.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 8 months ago

The issue of military recruitment has already been litigated in the federal courts. If the school takes federal funding, the federal government can insist as a condition precedent that military recruiters have access to recruit students. A noble cause, but a moot issue. Lastly, what's wrong with the military, just tell the recruiter to drop dead, insult his mother and they'll never call you again. If you really want to get free stuff from them, have them take you out to lunch on the government dime, and then start insulting mothers. Nobody is being pressed in to servitude here.

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

Oldgoof, I was not trying to get in the backdoor with an debate on abortion. I was trying to make a point that there is a widely held misconceptions among many people about what a "right to privacy" encompasses. I would like to attend the Monday Night forum and I hope my crazy schedule will allow that.

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago


Don't like my grammar, eh? Okay. That, too, is irrelevant to the topic. Based on your lack of an answer, I'm going to assume you've never served your country and have no intention of doing so...unless it's with other people's children. Lame-O!!!

One last word for you...PATHETIC!

I'm done.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

well the fact that this was tacked on to a much bigger bill is not uncommon in dc happens all the time and unless it smacks you in the face most people do not even know. I really do like that these to girls ar making it known about this I knew the recuirter bill had passed but did not know about it being on the "no child left behind" act so I do not see any bad coming from this doc. that they are doing.

cdc 11 years, 8 months ago

These two girls give me hope for the future of america! I wish them all the best in their efforts!

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

bad spelling day and not spell checking sorry all.

indythinker 11 years, 8 months ago


Your opinion of this matter is dead on. Just say no, throw the mail away and move on. It's that easy. It is still America and we can still make choices about where we would like to spend our post-high school years. If the government wants your information, they going to get it anyway...

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago

Let's just make it easier to get our information. Let's give youngsters the ultimatum that if they DON'T give their names, then they can't be in the yearbook. Doesn't that sound sick on a very basic level? Especially since these people are not adults, but 14, 15, 16, and 17 years old? Perhaps if this war were worth fighting, they wouldn't need to manipulate education policy to get the names of cannon fodder. Just shows how desperate the military really is.

Carry on, Sheeple.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

well they called our house once and my husband said she is not interested and if she were she would go to an office not the phone so stop wasting our time they have not called back.

moxxie_mama 11 years, 8 months ago

This is not new news, it was mentioned well before they signed it. Most people chose to ignore it.

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago


Let me guess, your daughter is going to college to pursue an education (minus the roadside bombs, desert heat, and sniper fire). Meanwhile, people continue to die, the ignorant masses continue to support this war and life as usual goes on.

How lovely.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

nope not in a conventional college I think it had more to do with dad and the tone of voice. But I do have a son in the army and a sister in the navy so imply what you want. hang up, just say no repeat it over and over no big deal. These girls are doing something they believe in and that is a very cool thing they should keep it up and do what they feel they is right.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

Nothing wrong in enlisting in the milatary and nothing wrong with not enlisting and going to school. Choice, and the right to choose, these are cool rights.

Emily Hadley 11 years, 8 months ago

I had no idea the Left Behind stuff was this bad. No surprise I guess.

I think a lot of kids get bullied by these guys, I know a few friends in high school did, as well as friends from poor rural areas of Michigan. A close friend was lied to repeatedly by his recruiter about the risk of his medical conditions, and advised to lie so that the recruiter could get one more under his belt. He ended up in a medical facility for 6 weeks before being discharged.

When recruiters called me from their list, I asked them not to call again. I was harrassed (legally speaking). They seemed offended by my polite yet quick request not to call again, but not at all deterred, trying to intimidate, insult, and scare me.

I was then called almost daily for over a month, from the Air Force, the Army, their NG branches--you name it, they called. It was like they had a running prank of passing my info to the next branch after I said I was not interested in enlisting. I eventually gave them all verbal warnings to cease and desist after calling the numbers back and asking for a superior didn't help.

I don't know if recruiters should target minors directly anymore than Camel should. I think perhaps war is even worse for kids than smoking.

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

sorry this has been going on forever not just the last 6 and 1/2 yrs.

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago


You hit on the bigger issue...fed govt intrusion and coercion, right down to whether your child gets his/her name in the yearbook.

Where is the outrage? WHere all those "big government is bad" people?

rhd99 11 years, 8 months ago

Momma, do you now understand why the George Bush EXTREMISTS must be VOTED OUT in November? Look, Bush & his allies have made America more dangerous & less intelligent because of their FALSE promises & COVERT & ILLEGALLY SECRETIVE bill attachments that make life here more DIFFICULT! That action is going to STOP! Take a stand with your fellow Americans & together, with our votes in November, the powerful, CORRUPT & wealthy will FINALLY know the definition of DEFEAT because this is OUR country NOT THEIRS! They want US to pay the tab for every mistake they make, they can PAY THE BILL THEMSELVES!

Christine Pennewell Davis 11 years, 8 months ago

will not get in a debate about the pres. many reasons but it really is not me.

juliopac 11 years, 8 months ago


Did you read all my posts? If so, you'd understand that I completely agree with you.


You make a great point about recruiters and cigarette companies and access to minors.

Jd Finch 11 years, 8 months ago

Juliopac, Blacksheep, SSG P,

Recruiting, as I'm sure all of you have heard (or know), is the toughest job in the military; it's thankless, embarrassing work, especially when cold calling or calling folks who have already expressed disinterest. But sometimes that third or fourth call works, and for that reason, the military will remain dogged in its pursuit of soldiers.

As far as the caliber of the respondents to this barrage of recruiting, I think it's top-notch, regardless of ASVAB scores, juve, priors, etc. Even if it takes prompting, these kids join up knowing that they'll spend a full year in Iraq or Afghanistan and knowing that they'll face challenges foreign to anything they've ever experienced.

Despite the caliber of recruit, I wish we could do away with the current recruiting system. As I'm sure you guys know, the best NCOs get pulled for recruiting (usually as part of an enlistment contract) and that takes a fine soldier out of the loop for too long. The US government should mandate either civil or military service (as in Israel, Germany, etc) as a part of US citizenship; then backdoor drafts, No Child Left Behind clauses, or cold calling busy people would be moot.

If you disagree with the current fight, talk to your congressman, but don't denigrate the recruiters or their tactics, they're just looking for the folks who are willing to step up. I wish you could see the Army now, Blacksheep: our ranks may be thin, but the folks we have are the selfless SOBs who really are willing to put in on the line.

Bottom line: as annoying as the calls and the mailings and the clauses buried in innocuous legislation may be, persistence works we fill our ranks with folks who are undecided until they sign that dotted line and those folks are typically some of the best out there.

hyzticx 11 years, 8 months ago

This Alexia Welch, one of the girls from the school policy article.

The Journal World forgot to elaborate on the fact that 3rd parties include PEDOPHILES and any one else off the street. Yes, recruiters can get our information anywhere else, but school, the EDUCATION SYSTEM, should not sell it, nor take part in it.

This project is not to attack the military. We are hoping to make more options available, so that someone can choose all, nothing, or some.

No Child Behind says that this option should be in effect, yet OUR school does not make it apparent, does not make it clear exactly what information is released (name, address, birthdate, sex, class, age, phone numbers). We are trying to change our SCHOOL policy.

And yes it is a hassle when full uniformed recruiters show up at your door step or try to eat lunch with you in the shcool cafeteria.

And we do know how to say no thankyou to recruiters and throw away junk mail...but this goes a bit deeper than that...

This was an assignment and we are just completing it.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

Alexia, you should be aware that the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means committee, Charles Rangel, has renewed his effort to reinstate the draft, and it would apply to all individuals over age 18, up to, I think, age 30 or 32, requiring them to spend two years in the service. While you are protecting yourself and your friends from being bothered by military recruiters, you should also be proactive in making sure that the Democrats do not pass a bill that would force you to serve in the military.

Sigmund 11 years, 8 months ago

Lexie, can't wait to see the final report. Hang in there.

sassygogo 11 years, 8 months ago

I have to say I am the mother of one of these girls and they are not finished with the story yet! I am VERY proud of them both. They are uncovering information that every parent SHOULD know and has the RIGHT to know, should WANT to know as well as those that do not have children but may someday. The NCLB Act impacts every child / family Senior or not. One of the things I was told about the NCLB Act (by a teacher) is that your child will never be held back even if they are failing and do not understand what they are being taught (no child left behind). Is this supposed to make our kids smarter???

My personal experience with the military recruiters: They called for my daughter. I asked that they NEVER call my home again; they called again and again until finally my daughter felt that it best to meet with them just to get them off her back. He did not ask if there was going to be a parent there. First time he came to our home my daughter was called into work and could not meet with him. Second time he came over, it was unannounced! My understanding is that a male recruiter is NOT to meet with a female "prospect" unless there is another adult available to sit in.
What made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up is that our number is unlisted for safety reasons and I'm thinking "How did they get my number?" My number is unlisted for safety reasons, the safety of my kids. The schools don't tell you that you can OPT OUT (and if they do it must be in the smallest of print on the back of a form in a lower corner or something). They don't provide any information to you (that I have ever seen) that lets you know what the NCLB ACT is and what it means for your child or your family. They don't ask your permission to publicly display your child's personal information. I mean I would think that the least they could do since they are trading our kids for funding is splurge for the documentation to educate parents on what their rights are or are not. At the very least give parents and kids the right to OPT IN!

This story seems to focus mainly on military recruiting although that is how it began it has developed into much more. It's not just about the military. Think of this "what if": What is a third party exactly? Could that be any Joe off the street? Child molesters and pedophiles? Murderers and rapists? We should want to keep our children safe, WE as parents and as a community need to, it takes us all. The only shame here is our Governments "policies and Acts" that are put into place to manipulate us, to blackmail us if you will, and in my opinion our Schools for selling our children, trading them for money, whatever you want to call it, it's wrong! Question is: Why? Why don't parents, communities and schools all across this nation ban together let our voices be heard.

UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL. It's time to join hands people.
Go girls! Go all the way!!!!!

Evan Ridenour 11 years, 8 months ago

In response to Alexia's email,

I am grateful you took the time to respond to the opinions I expressed on the article today. I understand what you are saying. I understand how uncomfortable it may be to have the military recruiters take lengthy steps to recruit you into the military but it is a fact of life. You sometimes have to put up with annoyances and you definitely seldom get a chance to correct those annoyances.

My comments weren't meant to discredit how hard you two are working on your project. I think it is wonderful that high school students are putting so much effort into something like this. So I want you to put my comments into perspective.

My opinion is simply different then yours. I find it acceptable and completely rational that in exchange for your school receiving federal funds that the military complex be given enough leeway to recruit potential members from the graduating class. In this nation our military is one of the primary responsibilities of the federal government, they want to safeguard the military in everything they do. I also find it rational that if a student were to choose to exclude themselves from being recruited by the military that they would also be excluded from other things as well as a method of preventing students from doing so. This is the same method used by the selective service (albeit to a lesser extent as the selective service carries much harsher penalties as full enlistment in selective service is of much higher importance to the federal government) to ensure full compliance.

This is the way the world works. There is always a cost and the cost can be unfair. I don't want you to think I don't agree with you that military recruitment can be annoying but I want you to understand that I disagree with you in the fact that I believe it is reasonable for the federal government to get recruitment time in exchange for federal tax dollars.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

I would like to point out that Mike Belt skewed the reporting on the girls' project to make it appear that NCLB is the problem here, when, in fact, it is the Lawrence School Board members' failure to understand the act that is at fault. My guess is they have spent more time complaining about NCLB than learning about it.

Good job, girls, keep going with your work.

Godot 11 years, 8 months ago

I hestitate to get off-topic, here, but this "opt-out" provision in NCLB that requires parents to take the initiative to prevent their children from being subjected to learning about the option of a military career is similar to the "out-out" required of parents if they do not want their children subjected to education about sexuality in school.

If you believe parents should have to "opt-in" for military recruiters, then you would also believe parents should be have to "opt-in" for sex ed.

hyzticx 11 years, 8 months ago

Godot...good point about sex-ed.

And Eride....hell yeah the world is unfair... Are you racist? Are you sexist? Because the world was unfair for blacks, women, children, the poor, the Irish, and so on. But someone chose to do something about it! Would you have sent them a letter saying sometimes life isn't fair? That the south had economic reason to continue slavery, and thats the way the world works?

hyzticx 11 years, 8 months ago

This isn't about recruitment being annoying, it's about our school not following NCLB the way they should, does no one understand this!!!???

beefree 11 years, 7 months ago

There should not be woman in war...and if you think woman should be in war you should be ashamed of your selves. I don't care what your rational is about.

please read article "Girl in the War"

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