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Should students who opt out of military recruiter lists have their names withheld from school publications?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on October 27, 2006

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Photo of Megan Barker

“Of course not. That doesn’t seem like the right thing to do at all. Just because they want their names withheld doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have the same privileges as the other students.”

Photo of Jon Jacques

“Absolutely not. That would definitely be unethical.”

Photo of Kimball Parker

“I don’t understand why they would do that. I think that for the most part students would seek out a recruiter if they were interested.”

Photo of Kathy Jennings

“Absolutely not. Just because they opt out doesn’t mean they should be taken out of everything else. That’s ridiculous. What does one have to do with the other?”

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trinity 11 years, 5 months ago

sgt i sure don't know about being a water gardener; i think i missed that particular line of study when perusing college catalogues! ;)

i can't resist a smarmy comment-being a water gardener must contribute to one's appearance becoming somewhat waxen-figure like, after a period of time. :)

trinity 11 years, 5 months ago

well heck R_I, i guess if part of a water gardener's duties include removal of pond scum, then my job in the court systerm is akin to being a water gardener! :)

Charla Welch 11 years, 5 months ago

I don't agree with the all-or-nothing. That is just ridiculous.

But some of you are coming down awful hard on recruiters. Yes some lie, but others don't. Recruiting is one of the hardest jobs in the army, and I'm sure the same goes for the other military branches. The recruiters are pressured so much by their superiors to reach mission (that is, recruit so many people in so much time), that some of them have nervous breakdowns. I happen to know a current recruiter in Montana, and my father-in-law also recruited. It was the worst job he ever held, because he could not lie to the people like some other recruiters could.

So don't hate the people doing their job. It has been done this way for a looooong time now. I don't think they know any other way to do it.

Besides, just say you have flat feet and they leave you alone.

lunacydetector 11 years, 5 months ago

for military recruiter and opt out students who should.

thank you, LD

Smarmy_Schoolmarm 11 years, 5 months ago

Something that bothers me very much about about this is something I saw last year in a local rural high school.

There was a military recruiter in the special eduction lab.

I sat and listened to him for as long as I could before I had to speak up. He painted such a rosy picture of what being in the military is like and in my opinion criminally downplayed the hazards.

I brought up the fact that our country is at war and asked a lot of questions that he didn't have good answers for, including body counts on both sides.
All he had to parry with was military rhetoric.

I think it's despicable that recruiters are allowed such access at all, let alone to vulnerable students who might see this as a glamorous option to vocational school or college which very likely would be a struggle.

This wasn't an organized presentation, but a guy in a spiffy uniform walking right into the classroom, interrupting the classwork, being a good ol' boy, sitting on desks and in general disrupting what was going on.

School is where we send our children to be educated, not coerced into bad decisions that could have such an incredibly negative impact on their lives, and the lives of those who love them.

Parents need to ask questions, find out who is coming into their children's classrooms, find out about the incredibly lax access that is given to their children.

Yes I am a liberal and yes I am anti-war, but I'm also pro-child.

jonas 11 years, 5 months ago

Nothings wrong with them talking to a kid. Everythings wrong with punishing kids for making a decision to not pursue a military career.

juliopac 11 years, 5 months ago


A recruiter should not have access to ANYONE under the age of 18. Why? Because they LIE TO THEM, then get them to sign legally binding contracts. No one has access to our youth like military recruiters. I couldnt agree more with the person who called recruiters bottomfeeders. They do what they can to get people in cause they are under pressure, but that is no excuse.

THe military gets something like 3 billion a year just for marketing. They are targeting your kids. Just think what we could do with that money, in terms of education, day care, whatever?

Oh, and just for the record...if you are a young person who has signed on the dotted line, but you are having doubts, you are not legally bound by that contract UNTIL you go to bootcamp. I dont care what your recruiter tells you. Just dont go to bootcamp. All that happens is they tear up your contract, maybe curse your name a bit, then move on to the next unsuspecting sap.

jonas 11 years, 5 months ago

I didn't even know about this, and it disgusts me to find out that it exists. I got a fairly easy pass on the pushy recruiters through high-school since I blew out my back at the ripe old age of 13, but anyone should be able to say they don't want to deal with it, and not have opportunities stripped away from them. I'm not easily drawn into conspiricy theories, but this reeks of military-industrial complex.

acg 11 years, 5 months ago

Absolutely not! This is a ridiculous rule. But then again, 80% of rules and laws are just that.

I also wanted to ask, don't you people ever sleep? I'm always seeing posts in the middle of the night. Do you have night jobs or insomnia or what? I can't even remember the last time I was up at 3:00 a.m. It sucks to be old. :(

Charla Welch 11 years, 5 months ago

pywacket, maybe you should just stop generalizing. it's always the bad apples that get all the attention.

yes, there are some recruiters who will make any lie just to sign a new recruit. but that doesn't mean they are all "bottomfeeders". just like any other job, you have the good people just trying to do their job, and you have the "bottomfeeders" who give them all a bad reputation.

juliopac 11 years, 5 months ago

Smarmy SchoolMarm,

GOOD FOR YOU! These recruiters are desperate. A special ed classroom? Thank goodness you were there. You probably saved a couple lives.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 5 months ago

It is a good day for OTS vocations. Any guesses on the duties of the first and third?

ladysilk 11 years, 5 months ago

Another nifty rider on another piece of crap federal legislation...and we are surprised why?

canyon_wren 11 years, 5 months ago

I think the MOST that should be allowed recruiters is to have their pamphlets available where various college pamphlets are, in school counseling offices, etc. It's not like these kids live in a vacuum, where they don't know about the option of military service. I am not a "peace-nik," although I think this war is a big mistake, but I don't see any purpose for soliciting kids this way.

It's difficult to understand ANY connection between students opposing contact with recruiters and having one's name in the yearbook, etc. I can't believe that is REALLY a situation of either-or. Does anyone know personally that this has actually happened to students?

Richard Heckler 11 years, 5 months ago

The recruiter thing should never have been part of No Child Left Behind. Students are subjected to phone calls from recruiters who come off like telemarketers. It should NOT cut students off from opportunities.

Those BUSH neocon republicans come up with rather strange ideas. VOTE THEM OUT and demand of new legislators that NCLB be scrapped or rewritten.

concernedparent 11 years, 5 months ago

wow, I went to school with Megan. She's really came a long way....

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

WOW - did anyone sleep last night?

I absolutely have no idea what the question means. I guess I should read the article.


lunacydetector 11 years, 5 months ago

i think the whole controversy comes from the fact that some wacko people do not want schools to allow military recruiters on their campus at all.

optimist 11 years, 5 months ago

The policy they refer to is simply a clause in the bill that is meant to prevent the district from creating an exclusion policy for military recruiters. Given what has been done in school districts like Seattle and San Francisco it was necessary to protect the military recruiters from being singled out by the school authorities.

If a child has no interest in joining the military when they come calling all they need to do is say they aren't interested and ask the recruiter to not call on them again. The recruiter will not waste his or her time with a prospect that displays a strong opposition to enlistment and will move on. Frankly it is much to do about nothing. These kids are simply making a political statement and using it to propel them into their 15 minutes. They've succeeded, good for them.

JHawker 11 years, 5 months ago

this makes no sense... can anyone fill in the missing words?

Bone777 11 years, 5 months ago

LJW Question read at 1:55am "Should students who opt out of military recruiter"

Fill in the blank; have to take an STD test... have to file a restraining order...... know the difference between a good touch and a bad touch...

Hell, I don't know. Nice question.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 5 months ago

The military is targeting my kids? That's some amazing technology. Maybe they can tell me when I'll have kids, and what their names will be, too!

Okay, seriously, I'm not cool with the hellfire and brimstone being heaped upon the military. It's a bit excessive. The military isn't perfect, but it's also not the devil's spawn.

SpeedRacer 11 years, 5 months ago

At least they aren't being required to take ROTC. I see no problem with the military recruiters on campus. Why is this any different from the corporate or college recruiters who also misrepresent? I would hope that the career counselors assigned to the students are giving them good advice.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

Hey! Still alive today and did nobody sleep last night? I finally did. Yee Haw! I'm not over my crud but I'm feeling better, thanks.

OK. I know it's the law for boys to sign with SS by a certain age. Being female, I don't know what the pressure is to join for the young men. I did get more than my fair share of phone calls and letters in HS from recruiters because I have a name that can go either know, "A boy named Sue" and all that. Anyway, maybe if the recruitment offices were smarter, they'd just get their lists from the yearbook. They obviously didn't get my name from something I signed. Punishing the kids for not signing the recruiter lists...that is rediculous. Kudos to Smarmy for sitting in. That being said, even in HS I knew that the military was not for me. I had the power to say no and did. Mommy and Daddy can't always be there. Teach your children to think for themselves.

Ceallach 11 years, 5 months ago

This is such a "tupid" topic and obviously meant to stir things up! To my knowledge they are not contacting 6th graders, right? The military is a valid option for young men and women after they graduate from high school. The list is intended to reach students with just that, options. Those not interested can "just say NO." For many students college is not an option, yet they will be bombarded with packet after packet sent by colleges from sea to shining sea. I just learned that KU will start contacting prospective students after 6th grade! That means 6 years of advertising before your child graduates.

To fine fune a list allowing students to pick their "opt out options" would be a nightmare, if not impossible to maintain and keep current.

This sounds like another attack on the military and those in it. . . an attack made possible by the men and women in uniform everyday securing our freedoms.

RonBurgandy 11 years, 5 months ago

I was never contacted by a recruiter...I wonder what that says about me. Hopefully they just knew that I wasn't going to enlist...

spoticus 11 years, 5 months ago

For those of you favoring the all or nothing privacy policy, I think there is an aspect of the story you missed. If the policy was only to exclude students from all mailing/contact lists, then I might agree with you. That would cover only marketing. The problem with the policy is that it also excludes you from being published on the honor roll or in the yearbook. Now, a student may not want to have any marketing material from anyone, but still be in the yearbook. I don't have a problem with that and I don't see how it creates any logistical problems for schools. Honor rolls and yearbooks need not be tied to marketing.

optimist 11 years, 5 months ago

Many of you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. The fact that you characterize any of those who enlist as being ill-informed, not smart enough to know better, desperate or simply the victim of a doop make absolutely clear what you think of the military.

There are people of all walks of life serving their country. I knew people with master's degrees, bachelor's degrees and many with less education and those were just the enlisted. There are a fair number of people with post secondary education degrees who choose to serve in the enlisted ranks over becoming an officer. Many have only a high school diploma but don't you dare presume they aren't the brightest among us. I for one believe many of them are more intelligent and mature than most that go to college.

College isn't for everyone and not because they aren't smart. Plenty of people who have succeeded in business have never stepped foot on a college campus. There are some who are simply looking for more adventure in their careers than college offers. No matter what their reason we should salute sharply and thank them for their service rather than pass judgment on them.

ohjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

I was in the Air Force ROTC detachment at KU the first year and a half I was there. I received a scholorship and, at the time, thought that was what I wanted to do with my life. There were definitely things that were misrepresented. I found out that "recommended" attendance = "mandatory" attendance. Also, the fact that I was not guaranteed to get into the field that I was getting my degree in was a bit disconcerting. I was able to opt out (although having to pay back my scholarship, which is completely understandable).

After all that, I must say it has not made me anti-military. There are many brave people who are scattered all over this world representing and protecting us. For some people, the military is the right career choice. However, after that experience I realize how tough a decision it is for young people to make, and I remember the pressure that was put upon me to make my decision in a timely fashion.

In response to the question, I'd have to say why can't they opt out? If they know that the military isn't what interests them, why can't they save the recruiter time and opt out of being on their list. It's quite similar to me knowing I don't want to be sold aluminum siding over the phone. So, I put my phone number on the national "do not call" list.

Kontum1972 11 years, 5 months ago

wish i went to school with Meg...VA-VA-VOOM...xtra-fine

my garden is thirsty....

obtw..the draft is next...

they just buried a young GI today in 11worth...blown up by IED..a few days ago...

juliopac 11 years, 5 months ago

Optimist said...

"No matter what their reason we should salute sharply and thank them for their service rather than pass judgment on them."

Jeez! The gooey sentimental sap is oozing from your post. Pop tall and offer a salute. thanks. Hey Optimist, how 'bout signing on the dotted line. You're not quite that sentimental now are you?

sgtwolverine 11 years, 5 months ago

Julio, in all honesty, your posts are as sharply negative as optimist's was sentimental.

Ceallach 11 years, 5 months ago

chicken indeed, with beans and rice, yummmmm.

ohjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Privacy issues are not an all or nothing proposition. People should be able to choose to whom their information is distributed. For example, obviously it is not a good idea to allow a lot of people access to your social security number. However, in certain circumstances, that information is needed to be given to someone. Why should this case be any different?

Bone777 11 years, 5 months ago

I really had some deep thoughts about this all or nothing policy........and then I couldn't stop thinking about chicken and dumplings. Thanks a lot, whoever started the chicken theme.


juliopac 11 years, 5 months ago

Sgt Wolf,

We all know how you right wingers hate negativity (aka the truth).

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

Fill me up on fried taters! topic Funny Lambert's story: My oldest bro is a bit of an "idiot savant of the entertainment world." While once eating at Lambert's, the employees were blasting music and started yelling ?s to the diners like "What song is this?...What is the name of the band?...etc..." They finally realized my bro was not missing anything so they thought they'd single him out and get tough on him, like "Oh yeah, who is the singer?...Who is the drummer? What year?...etc..." making the ?s more and more difficult. My bro didn't miss a single ?, so for a prize, we were taken to the back, shown how they make the fried potatoes, and given a dozen "hubcaps" (giant cinnamon rolls) to take home. My big bro is a gem. I was listening to a song on the radio this afternoon and couldn't think of the band. Guess who I called? The answer was Golden Earring but now I can't remember the song. I'm a dolt. Oh, yeah!... "Radar Love."

Godot 11 years, 5 months ago

Maybe, someone should get Nancy Boyda to reveal her position on reviving the draft, just for the sake of all the high school and college age people out there in Douglas County.

My guess is it will be something like, "Should we have a draft? I don't know. Do you know? I don't know. That is something we will have to figure out."

fabian_zimbabwe 11 years, 5 months ago

I miss Stroud's! (I know there's one up north, but that just can't compare to that lovable dive under Troost.) Moment of silence.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

Stroud's in KC. Now THAT is where you get some gooood chicken. Give me some 'o dem taters n gravy to go with 'em and a whole plate of livers fried up to perfection! (Gizzards for you woosie babies who can't/wont eat livers). MMMmmmmmmmm! That's how it's done! That, or we could all drive to Lambert's and go have some rolls throwed at us. Yum!

sgtwolverine 11 years, 5 months ago

Julio, while I can be as negative as anyone, I also recognize that neither negativity nor positivity is an indicator of truth.

The point of my post was simply to note that while you derided optimist for "sentimental sap," you displayed the opposite extreme rather than expressing a calm, well-considered opinion. That does not provide you a firm platform from which to criticize sentimentality.

Ceallach 11 years, 5 months ago

sgt's sizzlin ssssssssssss!

We're all so indoctrinated with "relative" thinking that nothing is considered "true" anymore :( cept fer chicken!! Chicken good, now there's a truism.

Lambert's is such a blast!! How about them "sides" sue?

Godot 11 years, 5 months ago

"The recruiter thing should never have been part of No Child Left Behind. Students are subjected to phone calls from recruiters who come off like telemarketers. It should NOT cut students off from opportunities.

Those BUSH neocon republicans come up with rather strange ideas. VOTE THEM OUT and demand of new legislators that NCLB be scrapped or rewritten."

Yeah, replace NCLB with Charlie Rangle's bill (he has introduced it again, you know)that would draft all people between the age of 18 and 32 for two years of mandatory service.

That would show 'em, wouldn't it? It would put those blank-blank recruiters out of work!

Linda Aikins 11 years, 5 months ago

I think it's someone who goes around to offices and waters their plants with those portable tanks on red wagons.


Godot 11 years, 5 months ago

Charles "draft em all" Rangel is a Democrat, and will chair the Ways and Means committee if the Dems take the house. Then he will have the power to get his bill passed.

Be careful what you wish for.

Kontum1972 11 years, 5 months ago

dick cheney likes the term "water-boarding"

dont know how close that comes to water gardener....

pass the 12 gauge...waaaa!...waaa!

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

Now they only "choke their own chickens" up north. I must travel there soon.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

Prospector, I didn't answer your ?. It has been in this last year, if memory serves me correct. I think it was early spring???

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

Closed in January. Rumor mill has it that they will re-open another one at some point.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

Will you supply the tequila? I do some of my best talking while plied. 'Course, I may be permanently disapeardeded, but then I really won't care. BTW, I'm not "spritely," just not "death warmed over" like yesterday. (Just got this cough thing going now.)

Ceallach 11 years, 5 months ago

sue, hope you are feeling better soon, no need to recoup and waste your weekend. Unless of course you recoup by getting wasted all weekend :) All y'all have a good night, I cleaned carpets nearly all day (wonderful way to use a day off, right?), so I'm going to vegetate the rest of the evening.

RI, you are so right about the expense and liability issues that would be involved if students have ala carte opting out. Not to mention the fact that they would change their list more often than their clothes. I would hate to be in charge of that database!!!

Manana, y'all! Be good, don't fight, and oh yeah, sue's in charge until I return !!

Bone777 11 years, 5 months ago

Sue - did yours start out with a tickle in your throat, to a painful to swallow, to a feverish cough with lots of green meanies being expelled. If so I had that also, if not sorry for your sickness. I had something totally different.

ohjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

An a la carte opt out system would not have to be cumbersome. The student fills out a form at the beginning of the year (or the beginning of their high school years) stating which items they want to opt into and which they want to opt out of. That information goes into a database that will prohibit their information from going to those entities they opted out of. If they want to change anything, it can only be done once/year. If companies can do it with health insurance, it should be able to easily be done with this as there would be many fewer options.

On the chicken conversation... it's hard to beat the chicken from the Amish restaurants in northeast Ohio... not to mention the real mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles... excuse me while I wipe the drool from my keyboard.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 5 months ago

H_L, that was a scream! My hubby sat here and he was laughing but I know he was thinking: "That's so her!" Mostly, I just talk like a sailor.

Bone, in this order: headache, sore throat, swollen lymphnodes, body aches, more headaches, sinus pressure, and today I've developed a burning in the chest with a bit of a cough. No fever to speak of. Just a lot of crappiness. We will see if the green meanies come tomorrow.

Katara 11 years, 5 months ago

Y'all forgot chicken & waffles! Heathens!

Stroud's is no longer under the bridge anymore?

runs sobbing from the discussion

ohjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

The premiums are going up and benefits are getting less not because of the increased administrative costs. They are changing for the worse because the costs of service, and particularly prescriptions, are going through the roof. School districts already have people entering student data into a computer. Five to ten extra entries, which probably would include entering a "Y" or an "N" into a field would take an additional 10 - 20 seconds (and that's being generous) per student. No extra people would be needed.

Also, R_I, I just re-read your 4:12PM post, and I must concede the points in your final two paragraphs. Although, I still don't think it would be as cumbersome as what you may be thinking to maintain the database once it is up and running. I failed to take into account that the database, spreadsheet, or whatever medium was being used, would have to be set up, requiring a good deal of time and effort.

Anyway, thank you for the intelligent banter today R_I. I have quite enjoyed it, but I must get some sleep.

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