Leave My Child Alone!
June 3, 2005
Marca Bradt / Utne.com
With Pentagon recruiters resorting to bribes and misinformation in attempts to maintain its supply of new military recruits, there are a number of campaigns to help parents learn how to safeguard teenagers from aggressive military recruitment. The "Leave My Child Alone" campaign is one of them.
(June 2, 2005 Issue) — There's been a drop-off in the number of inductees enlisting in the Army, and military recruiters are now resorting to illegitimate tactics to make their monthly two-recruit minimum.
Since high school students are a prime demographic, recruiters are pulling out all the stops to reach them before they graduate; sometimes contacting them as early as age 14, getting them to lie to their parents, teaching them to ace a drug test, even threatening them with time behind bars. The scandal's gone so far, CBS News reports, that the Army instituted a one-day suspension on recruitment last month just to regroup.
While investigations are under way into the accumulating allegations of foul play, the military has a powerful weapon on its side: No Child Left Behind. As a bonus to the act, recruiters have access to students' phone numbers and home addresses, making it easier for an aggressive recruiter to harass a teen into enlistment. Schools that don't comply risk losing federal funding.
Project members at Leave My Child Alone! have banded together to keep this contact information private. Their website automatically tracks down your district superintendent and generates an "Opt Out" letter.
You also can sign their online petition or send emails to friends and family about how they can shield their children's privacy.
Sojourners is also circulating the petition.
Go to Leave My Child Alone!