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Nov 13, 2005
 No Child Left Un-recruited
A Happy 17th Birthday phone call courtesy of the US Army

By Naomi Yaeger-Bischoff

The No Child Left Behind Act has forced me to deal with an issue that I thought I could let slide by because I was female. I believe that the use of violence to solve problems is wrong. War brings out the worst in humans. Because I never had to register for the selective service, like all males living in the United States have to do, I never went public with my feelings.

In October, 2005, I did something I’ve wanted to do for many years. I entered a Quaker Meeting House, (Church) The biggest reason I did this was because I wanted to meet with people who believed in the world could be changed without the use of violence.

The Quaker meetinghouse sponsored a seminar in Duluth to learn how to teach high-school kids alternatives to joining the military to gaining, money, job security, and travel.

            In the summer of 2004, at the School for Christian Mission, I learned that the No Child Left Behind Act included a passage that said high schools would not receive their money if they did not let military recruiters inside the high schools. I knew I didn’t want my child recruited, but I never did anything about it. One of the Quakers mottos is, “They were changed themselves before they tried to change others,” by William Penn

 
 
            On Saturday, March 12, 2004 I came head-to-head with my beliefs. The phone rang. It was a female recruiter from the army wanted to speak to my daughter. My daughter had turned 17 just three days previously on Wed. March 9. My daughter wasn’t home at the time. My heart raced and blood rushed to my face. I was furious. I knew the recruiters where in the schools. I didn’t know they had access to her name and phone number. 

I told the recruited that we were conscientious objectors and I did not want the military contacting my daughter again. The women responded by saying, “Just doing my job, Ma’am.”

           




   

 “They were changed themselves before they tried to change others,”
                                                                                William Penn




So at age 44 I had to come to terms with something I thought I could avoid because of my gender, I am a conscientious objector. The military wanted my daughter. 
            We are all responsible for ourselves. I cannot control what you do, I cannot control what my child does after the age of 18, but before age 18 I am responsible for her well-being.

I want to know who is courting my daughter, no matter if it is a young man wanting a date, or the United States Army. 
            When recruiters talk to kids (and they are legally still kids under parents guardianship when they are under 18) the recruiters are selling a product. The military appeals to kids who want adventure, money for college, or a way out of a dead-end situation. It also appeals to people’s sense of patriotism.  

         My next entry will discuss what you, as a parent, can do to keep the recruiters from contacting your child at home.  
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Posted: Nov 13, 2005 3:17pm

 

 
 
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nh Yaeger
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Duluth, MN, USA
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