2002-12-14 / Letters

Need Draft Counseling

Need Draft Counseling

Dear Editor;

When it comes to gutsy talk you are all talk but little on action. You constantly espouse that "our kids need and deserve better", but when it comes to protecting the rights of high school students, you leave much to be desired.

Case in point: The Iraq crisis may lead to the resumption of the military draft. What you say!! We've not had a draft since the 1970's and no one is talking about it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The Bush administration has clearly stated that if an invasion of Iraq does occur, 200,000 men will be needed, another 200,000 reservists will be called up. What about a quick victory? We've heard that one before in Vietnam where in the end we lost 60,000 men! If all does not go well and the military pool is challenged, you can be sure that the military draft will be resurrected.

This will certainly affect all the young men in our high schools. The most vulnerable being those of African-American and Hispanic background.

I have come to the conclusion because this is what occurred in the Vietnam War era (1960's, 1970's). At that time I was a draft advisor for the Board of Education, and saw that the men who had the knowledge, connections and the money were spared from serving.

What I want you to do is to take the lead in supporting the creation of draft counseling positions in all high schools so as to "level the playing field." In this way, if any student is confronted by a military recruiter, he may seek an alternative course of action. Military recruiters are already in all the high schools talking up the benefits of military life. What they do not tell students that in war you can get killed!!

Another problem that we do not want to see is the potential for widespread violence and disruption in the schools as we saw in the 1960's. In an era of widespread violence any situation that can set off violence must be prevented.

ROBERT KAYE


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