Monday, November 21, 2005
7 News Features: Student Soliders
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines...Plenty to chose from and then there is one more...None of them. Thats what alot of young people chose but guess who is making it easy for the recruiters to reach you...You school which gives schools your home number or your cell phone number. Dont believe---as Patrick Fraser reports...Neither did many people we talk to.
WSVN--Jamaine Velus is an Army Recruiter. He is considered very good at what he does...Very good at getting his message across to young kids.
Staff Sgt. Jamaine Velus: "We're going to teach these kids how to grow up. That's what we're going to do for them. We're going to give them an opportunity to be leaders."
Convincing people to join the Military in wartime is not easy...But Army Recruiters are passionate and enthusiastic.
Maj. Kathleen Brogen-Farren: "I think it's an awesome place. Where else can you go to learn Army values? Leadership. Duty. Responsibility. Service. Honor."
Go a few miles away...For a different opinion of recruiting.
Marie Zwicker: "To go in there to lie to kids...to lie to their parents...this is totally unacceptable."
Jeanette Smith: "I have an issue with preying upon children and trying to recruit high school children."
Patrick Fraser: "The two sides of the recruiting battle...battling each other...nothing new there...but now there is a growing controversy...as schools in South Florida hand over the names addresses and phone numbers of every student to Military Recruiters---which is just what Americans Politicians wanted."
And I want to know, because I refuse to leave any child behind in America.
The President applauded the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act..a bill to improve education across America. But tucked in that legislation...Congress ordered every school getting federal funding to give the military a list of every high school students private information..
Aileen Brousseau: "Never once do I ever remember them ever mentioning that they had added this little provision that changed the way they were recruiting."
Aileen didnt know her families phone numbers had been given to the Army...Till her sons cell phone started ringing...
Christopher Haerting: "I was aghast, I had no idea they could get my cell phone number and call it."
Then Ayleen learned she could stop the Military from calling her son by asking his high school to take his name off the list given to recruiters...Schools call it opt out.
Joe Garcia: "We asked permissions from the Federal Government and got permission to allow parents to opt out at any point during the year, which is not something the Federal Government was originally going to do."
Armed with the news kids could opt out of the recruiting pitch. Ayleen headed out to let other teen-agers know.
Recruiter: "Hello, we're handing out fliers in case you are interested in enlisting in the military."
She discovered very few kids knew their private numbers were being given out and even fewer knew they could stop it.
Student Terrance Brown: "I don't like how they that somebody give out my information without me telling them to.
Student Carson Williams: "I just hang up on them. It's kind of annoying though."
That students don't know is not surprising. In Miami-Dade it's revealed in a packet of information handed out in the beginning of the school year. In Broward its even harded to find...Tucked away on page 24 of the code of student conduct. Where it says a parent may refuse to permit the release ...By notifying the prinicpal. But when Ayleen tried to notify the principal of her daughter's school...She found out they didn't know anything about an opt out form.
Aileen Brousseau: "The staff didn't know about it, the principal didn't know about it, the career officer didn't know about it."
But guess who is also wants the schools to tell students they can opt out...The recruiters the form is designed to block.
Recruiter: "I would rather spend my time and my efforts on people who are inquisitive about options in their future, versus people who definitely know the military services are not for them."
Most schools have already turned over students numbers to recruiters this year...But major Brogen-Farren says its not too late to stop them from calling your son or daughter.
Maj. Kathleen Brogen-Farren: "Please have the parents call us. All they need to do is tell me who their child is, what high school they go to and I will strike them from my list. That simple."
In the meantime both sides will continue to fight.
Sgt Velus will be out recruiting--telling young people the army may be the right option for them..
Staff Sgt. Jamaine Velus: "Why don't you bring some in and share it with your friends."
While Ayleen will be out reminding students...If they dont want to enlist...They can opt to get off the list.
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