OPT OUT OF THE LIES
Larry Mosqueda, Ph.D.
By August of 2005, the majority of Americans have turned against the
We now know that the war was and is illegal and immoral under international law, domestic law and the moral codes of most
We now know that that there were NO Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq at the time of the US invasion and that Iraq was NOT connected, in anyway, with the attacks of 9/11, as Bush himself now admits (See “Bush 9/11 Admission Gets Little Play,” http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0919-05.htm , 9/19/03), even though Bush continues to imply that the current war is somehow connected to that fateful day.
We now know that, because of the leaked British Downing Street memos that Bush and Blair knew that the reasons that they were giving the public for the war were false and they knew that they were lying about the reasons for the war as they tried to fake the intelligence about
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND--These revelations have become more pronounced and the war is going terribly wrong, not just legally and morally, but also strategically and tactically. Yet, the
According to NCLB, high schools are required to supply the names, addresses, phone numbers and other personal information to the military for recruitment into the armed forces.
The most vulnerable among us, the children, are being subjected to lies about the war and their possible participation. Students and their parents can OPT OUT of giving this information to the military, but it is difficult to find out how to do this. I will present some factual information for students and their parents to consider before they give their personal information to the military.
GI BILL-EDUCATION--While “patriotism” is often considered the reason for joining the service, many studies conclude that “money for college’ is the leading reason civilians enlist.” (Chronicle of Higher Education (CHE),
Those who use their full benefit or partially use them do not get a “free” education. The current Montgomery GI Bill “covers about 60% of the average cost of college according to the College Board.” (CHE) The benefits are much different from the GI Bill of World War II, where the cost of college was essentially covered by a grateful nation in the “good war.” CHE has also reported that many veterans are discouraged from using their benefits by the bureaucracy of the VA. The current war is not your grandfather’s war and the benefits are not your grandfather’s benefits. Encouraging youth to join the military as a form of college financial aid, considering the time commitment (eight years), the limited payout, the dangers, and the illegality of the war, and the few who actually benefit, is essentially a scam, that if it were being perpetuated by a private company may very well be investigated as consumer fraud.
JOB TRAINING- While any job experience has some value, the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities (Project YANO) notes that military training is for military jobs and not for training for civilian occupations. In the pre-war Department of Defense’s 2002 Status of Forces Survey of Active-Duty Members, “only 54% of all military members (including officers) said that they were satisfied with their training and professional development, and only 39% were satisfied with the total compensation they received for their work. As stated by Vice President Richard Cheney back when he was Secretary of Defense, “The Military is not a social welfare agency; it’s not a jobs program.” (Cheney himself never served in the military.)
ABUSE- Prospective recruits should know that there are many cases of abuse around issues of race, gender, and homophobia. In 1996, “65% of active-duty personnel reported having experienced racially offensive behavior; 10% had experienced threatening incidents or career related racial discrimination.” A 2003 survey “found that 30% of women reported being the victims of rape or attempted rape while in the military; 75% had experienced sexual harassment (Reuters Health,
Military recruiters rarely, if ever, give the above information to potential recruits. Their job is to sell the product, much like a used car, and not to give out any negative information. One veteran recruiter stated, “I’ve been recruiting for years and I don’t know of one recruiter who wasn’t dishonest about it. I did it myself.” While it is not possible to know that all recruiters are dishonest, the military itself recognized the overwhelming abuses in its system when it shutdown all recruiting offices in the country on
CONTROLLING MILITARY RECRUTER ACCESS TO SECONDARY SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS—OPTING OUT
Under NCLB, parents and students have the option of telling their school that they do not want the name of the student given to the military for recruitment or harassment by the military. The parents and student need to take a proactive step. Because of active parents and others in
A) Release their child's name, address, telephone number and other "directory" information to the military, colleges and universities, scholarship grantors and other groups.
B) Refuse to release their child's information to the military only.
C) Refuse to release their child's information to all groups.
The OPT-OUT form is available on the school district website. The deadline is very soon-it must be turned in by October 10.
“Refuse to release the child's information to the military only.”
If parents and students want that option (and retain the right to have the students name available to colleges and universities) it is suggested that they write that explicitly on the form. There is no law that states that you need to take the name off of all lists to not have it given to the military, as demonstrated by the
I am writing to request that you do not make (name of student) name, address or telephone listing available for military recruitment purposes as is provided for under Paragraph 2, Subsection (a) of Section 9528 of Public Law 107-100. I look forward to your prompt response to this letter.
Thank you for your assistance.
Name, signature, address
For Tumwater High School, while I could not find any information about the opt-out option, I did find out that the military recruiters were coming to campus on October 25-29, as well as in the winter and spring. For those in Tumwater who want to Opt-out, I suggest the letter format above and it should be sent during the first week of school since there is no easily accessible information on their website at http://www.tumwater.k12.wa.us/schools/ths/ .
Space does not permit developing further the advantages and disadvantages of joining the armed forces at this time or the dangers and opportunities of the military, but it is clear that students will not get the full truth from military recruiters. For further information see the following websites (among others).
Recruitment Education.org at http://www.recruitmenteducation.org
Critical Concerns at http://criticalconcern.com/recruiting.htm
Army of None at http://www.activ8media.org/armypage.html
Veterans for Peace at http://www.veteransforpeace.org/deceptioninrecruiting.htm#_ednref4
Military Families Speak Out at http://www.mfso.org/
Students against Militarization of our Youth at http://militaryoffcampus.org/
In case any reader desires to have counter-recruiters come to high school campuses, they should be aware that Equal Access is Required by Law. As published on the website of the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors-Military out of Our Schools Campaign:
( http://www.objector.org/moos/equal-access.html )
“Federal district and appellate courts have repeatedly upheld Equal Access laws that enable students to get information on both sides of controversial issues.
In San Diego Committee v. Governing Board of Grossmont Union High School District [790 F.2d 1471 (9th Cir. 1986)] the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, "The Board cannot allow the presentation of one side of an issue, but prohibit the presentation of the other side.... Here, the Board permitted mixed political and commercial speech advocating military service, but attempted to bar the same type of speech opposing such service. Accordingly, the Board violated the First Amendment." (See also Searcey v. Crim [815 F.2d 1389 (11th Cir. 1987)].
As the 9th Circuit Court stated: "It has long been recognized that the subject of military service is controversial." When schools create a forum for the proponents of the military, they must, under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, provide equal access for those with opposing points of view. Simply put: if you allow military recruiters and/or military literature in your school, the law requires you to provide equal access to critics of the military. If you fail to provide equal access, your district is subject to expensive and controversial lawsuits.”
Our young people are entitled to all available information that can have a profound impact on their lives, especially about events that could literally end their lives. They deserve our support and the right to their own information. If you find the information in this article useful, it is suggested that you make copies of it and/or the attached sample OPT-OUT form and give it to young people who may need it. The life that is saved may be a loved one.
The sample OPT-OUT form mentioned above can be copied from: