Arizona: Parents question military recruiters

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Parents and students at Tolleson Union High School District are debating what kind of access recruiters should have to the personal information of students:

Parents at odds over military recruitment at schools
By Nicole Brusik / 3TV reporter

“Don’t worry about my son,” said the mother of Tolleson student. “I’m his mother. you guys come out here and portray recruiters to be what they’re not.”

One side wants military recruiters to stop pressuring high school students to enlist.

“They’re not salesmen,” said another parent. “They’re Staff Sergeants, Sergeants and Majors.”

The other side says recruiters are just doing their job to provide students with additional opportunities.

This argument broke out Tuesday night just moments after the Tolleson Union High School District board meeting where several people asked that student’s contact information be withheld from military recruiters.

“The first thing they said to me was, ‘Hello, would you like to make $80,000 a year?’ They’re saying this to students who’ve never had $200 in their pockets,” said former Tolleson student Rosela Martinez.

“They have military recruiters on their school campus everyday,” said an activist who attending the meeting. “These guys are driving up in hummers, playing hip-hop music, and telling people how great it is to be in the military.”

But U.S. Army Col. Adam Loveless says students are not pressured to join.

“We’re not here to force anybody to join the Army against their will,” Loveless said. “We want to work with parents as much as we can.”

Loveless does admit many students may receive several recruiting phone calls, but not from the same branch of military.

“You get contacted by Army, Navy and Air Force,” he said. “Because of that, it may seem like they’re getting contacted by the same person. But that’s usually not the case.”

But some parents and students say they don’t care who calls — they just want the calls to stop.

“My brother is 16 and he’s already being contacted by the military recruiters,” said a Tolleson student.

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