Bunco Kelly Rides Again

Cody Hoesly

The Oregonian reports today that the Army is breaking all kinds of rules to get folks to actually go to Iraq.  Apparently, they've reached the point where old fashioned cajoling, fraud, deceipt, threats, and coercion are not enough.  Faking papers and drug tests is yesterday's recruiting tactic.

Today, the Army is seeking out people with autism, at least in Portland.  And attacking reporters who break the story.

Which makes me wonder, given Portland's history, is shanghaiing next?

  • Kathleen T. Neary (unverified)

    Recruiters here are trying everything in the book from recruiting autistic folks and others with mental and physical disabilities to stalking students in high school restrooms.

    They set up shop in cafeterias, at sporting events and whereever else students congregate.

    Recruiter Watch PDX is having a march and rally on Monday, 5/8 to protest recruiter abuses and to support a resolution being presented to the school board to set uniform standards to control recruiters.

    Concerned citizens march and rally on May 8th to protest military recruiting abuses in Portland schools

    On May 8th, Portland Metro area parents, students, teachers, veterans, and community members will gather to support a resolution to “end military recruitment abuse” in Portland public schools. They will gather in Holladay Park, NE Multnomah between 11th & 13th Avenues at 5 pm, march down Broadway past the military reruiting office to Blanchard Education Service Center, 501 N Dixon where the School Board will be meeting.

    Speakers at the Blanchard Center will reveal abuses committed by military recruiters and call on the School Board to set uniform rules for recruiting in Portland’s schools. Public schools have disturbingly uneven policies on military recruitment. Students from low-income families are being targeted at a higher rate than others.

    There is a wide variety of reported recruiter abuses ranging from lies and false promises to inappropriate participation in curricular and extracurricular school activities. Parents and students report harassment by recruiters even after requesting that they not be contacted.

    Franklin HS student Mike D. puts it this way: “I am concerned about military recruiters harassing students and exploiting their mandatory presence in schools. Students need to know their rights. Recruiters access students anywhere they can, without permission. I was even approached to join the military in a school restroom. Military recruiters have no boundaries.”

    The No Child Left Behind Act mandates that military recruiters be given the same access that colleges and employers have. But military recruiters demand, and in many cases get, extraordinary access, much more than any other institution. Parents, students, teachers and concerned citizens believe that military recruiters should be held to the same standards as other groups.

    The May 8th action is being organized by Recruiter Watch PDX (formerly PAMRC), a coalition of members of Veterans For Peace, Military Families Speak Out, Code Pink, the G.I. Rights Hotline, Portland's Lawyer's Guild, members of the Portland Teachers’ Union, their students and dozens of concerned parents.

    The coalition is asking the Portland School Board to create uniform, district-wide regulations for military recruiters. Among other things, their presence should be limited to a few scheduled, supervised visits. They should be forbidden to bring weapons, humvees or other military equipment into a school. Military recruiters should not be allowed in grade schools or middle schools.

    At the beginning of the school year Recruiter Watch PDX visited several Portland schools to tell students how they could keep schools from giving their contact information to the military. At that time members saw that recruiting was especially high in low-income areas. At one school, Franklin, Navy recruiters approached students in the halls at will. No one in the school office even knew they were there.

    Recruiter Watch PDX is committed to educating parents and students about the realities of military recruiting and countering recruiting abuses.

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