Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Uncle Sam: Pre-Teen Predator?

A disturbing article from the Associated Press indicates that the latest issue of Cobblestone magazine is little more than a military propaganda piece. This goes hand-in-hand with other military recruitment efforts aimed at children too young to realize they're irrevocably signing up to perform military service.

Why these practices of targeting immature and unwitting children to be persuaded to make life choices before they are old enough to make those choices is inexplicable and irresponsible on the government's part.

From: Preteen Mag Accused of Military Pitching, by the Associated Press, Published: July 3, 2006, New York Times

Most controversial has been a set of classroom guides that accompany the magazine, which suggest teachers invite a soldier, Army recruiter or veteran to speak to their classes and ask students whether they might want to join the Army someday.

One of the teaching guides -- written by Mary Lawson, a teacher in Saint Cloud., Fla. -- suggests having students write essays pretending they are going to join the Army: ''Have them decide which career they feel they would qualify for and write a paper to persuade a recruiter why that should be the career.''

This magazine's editors can claim responsibility all they like but the fact of the matter is that the government should have a much more restrictive policy about who they're recruiting. The editors fail to explain why military recruitment is suddenly such a compelling topic for young teens.

Nor do they bother to mention new recruitment programs aimed at younger and younger adolescents.

Nor is this as innocent as it may seem. Insidious is our vocabulary word of the day.

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