The parents of a 14 year old boy at Canyon High School are not happy about the fact that their son was talked to by an Air Force Recruiter in his Graphic Arts class without their knowledge.
This happened on Monday, and when their son came home and informed them they were shocked.
“I could understand if this was an ROTC class, but this was a Graphic Arts class,” said Linda Greening, mother of the boy.
The recruiter allegedly asked how many kids in the class were 18, or close to turning 18 and only three kids raised their hands. But everyone apparently received recruitment information.
Linda and her husband Bret immediately called the principal of Canyon High, Bob Messina, who said he had no idea the recruiter was in the class. He talked to the teacher who arranged for the recruiter to come, and assured the Greenings that in the future they would be notified if a presentation would be made.
“We are very grateful for all the young adults out there fighting for our country, but at 14, my child is a minor and very impressionable, and he was not told about all the negativities that are out there with the war,” said Greening.
Bret Greening then contacted the recruiter by phone and received a somewhat different story than he got from his son.
The recruiter allegedly said that she assumed everyone was 18, and that she is allowed to come to the school due to the fact that schools are federally funded.
In fact, her supervisor did return a call to Bret Greening Tuesday night and confirmed that. The supervisor also said that recruiters are only looking for Jr.'s and Sr.'s, and that she would make sure everyone in her staff followed that.
This brings to light an issue that not many people may be aware of. Military recruiters are indeed allowed on campus, but generally, they say that they are talking to students older than seventeen. This makes sense, given that trying to recruit a fourteen year old could be considered a waste of time.
In addition, the Greenings drafted a letter to William S. Hart School District Superintendent Jaime Castellanos. The letter follows:
The following letter is the opinion of its author, and should not be thought to represent that of KHTS Radio.
Some portions of the letter have had information removed to protect the subject's privacy.
Good Evening Superintendent Castellanos:
My son is a 9th grader at Canyon High School. What we found out today from our son was extremely disturbing and you need to be made aware.
Our 14 year old son went to his Graphic Arts class today and instead of learning about that subject he was solicited to join the Air Force. What may I ask has the air force got to do with Graphic Arts???
Principle Bob Messina had no knowledge of this until we contacted him after school today. The Sgt. was not honest with my husband on the phone and told him that she had no knowledge that she was speaking with 14 yr olds. My son brought home this material along with an application!!!
He also told us that she had the kids raise their hands if they were close to 18. Only 3 kids were around 18. There is a huge maturity difference between a 14 and an 18 year old.
This was not okay for the teacher to do. This was not History class and a vet was not discussing the war. This was art class. We sent him to school without ever being told about this. The Sgt. told my husband that she has every right to do this. Did she ever check in with the administration office? Why was Bob Messina not made aware of this? Why as parents were we not told about this ahead of time?
During this day and age and all of the fatalities her "pep talk" to the kids is extremely upsetting to us. We honor and respect the men and women that choose to defend our country but this is not acceptable.
She told my husband that she had the right to speak with kids at schools because they are receiving federal funding from the govt. As parents, we were never made aware of this. This matter gets much worse.
My husband drove down to speak in person to the Sgt. and to show her that she indeed gave a 14 year old boy an application and several catalogs which are next to me right now. On the phone she called her solicitation a scenario.
Let me ask you, would you consider an adult asking kids if they would rather make $1300.00 a month (straight out of high school) instead of working for
$7.50 an hour at Best Buy a scenario or a solicitation???? What is wrong with that pitch?
She was putting down retail workers who are trying to make a living. She never went into the negatives of the thousands of deaths, dismemberments, and soldiers not receiving their checks on time and having their credit go sour. She also enticed them with tuition for college. She never said a lot of our country men don’t get to go because they are on their 3rd tour of duty.
She told my husband that she loves her country and this is what the government wants her to do. Is this what you want in your schools?
This woman does not belong in our schools. My husband phoned her supervisor in Glendale and we never received a return phone call.
Feel free to contact my husband Bret or I. We would like to hear your comments and opinions on this matter.
I have no idea if you are a parent or not but we cherish our kids and try to protect them. We can understand if the teacher brought in an Artist or Educator from Harvard. That is not considered jeopardizing our child’s well being. To have an unstable person like this coming in to speak to kids is not a good thing.
Thank you for your time,