Conservatives across the country, and especially here in Texas, are having a hissy fit over President Obama's speech to students scheduled for Tuesday. They say that the president is going to try to brainwash students by pressing a partisan political agenda on impressionable young minds. Speaking of which...when Mike and Chris were still in high school and President Bush was still in office, I began getting voice messages on my unlisted land line from an adult male asking Chris to return his calls. Mike and Chris each had cell phones which friends and family used to reach them, so I wondered about this guy calling our house. Chris ignored the calls, but that didn’t stop them. They became more frequent, and the guy sounded like a creep to me: “Hey man, this is Bob, c’mon, call me back, we have things to talk about.”
“Who is this guy?” I asked.
“Just some guy,” Chris answered, with typical, teen-aged male succinctness.
Alarmed, I returned the call myself. “Why are you calling my son?” I asked
He said that he needed to talk with Chris.
“About WHAT?” I asked. When he realized I wasn’t about to give up or to let him talk with Chris, he identified himself as an army recruiter.
It turns out that President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act requires all public high schools to turn over private student contact information to local military recruiters or lose federal funding. This particular provision of the Act was added by Louisiana Republican, then Representative, now Senator, David Vitter, who identifies himself as a "staunch conservative". The first sentence in his biography on his website reads: "David Vitter is dedicated to making life better for his young family and all Louisiana families." Uh-huh. He's reportedly pro-life and pro-gun rights but against same-sex marriage, funding for abortion providers, increases in CHIP (the state Children's Health Insurance Program) and amnesty for undocumented aliens. I guess he's a family values sort of guy. Oh, but in June 2007 he was also identified as a client of D.C. madam Deborah Jean Palfrey's prostitution service. And that wasn't just some random accusation by some liberal out to get him, he admitted and apologized for it. Hey, a guy has needs, right?
If you want to read more about military recruitment on public high school campuses, check it out here (Mother Jones). If you want to find out about more protesting this practice or if you want to opt out of the database, check out the excellent website, Leave My Child Alone.