I’m writing in response to the Sept. 6 front page article about the Marine Corps conducting a workshop for teachers. The article cited the workshop as a public relations effort to improve the image of the Corps to teachers to account for the drop in recruitment and the adverse attitude that some may have toward military service. While appears of human interest on paper, the practice lacks ethics.
The article bothered me because I expect sound ethical principles for recruiting that do not use teachers as a public relations means because the teacher-student relationship is sacred by merit of trust and connection, and should not be confused with a conflict of interest. Said the article also on USMC site, “to do a bit of career counseling in the future” to be “better-prepared to pick out which students might be best-suited for a military career, and that now they may suggest this career choice to such students.”
Recruiters need to be identifiable as in uniform and attached to the career center, and not indirectly use the voice of teachers to promote their work. High school teachers teach minors, and not just 18 year olds. The selection of physical education and math teachers seemed obvious.
Consider that people may be averse for a reason, such as the health risks with high suicide rates and PTSD, low pension, and potential loss of life. Much of the federal budget goes to military spending, but needs to go to the care of veterans and students. Meanwhile, one in five Washingtonians rely on their local food bank with half of those children and elderly. Hunger limits the ability to learn because it puts people in survival mode. Humanitarian organizations around the world work to provide education for children in war-torn or poverty situations.
To defend something, we need to remember what we’re protecting. Let’s meet basic needs with safe love so our students can thrive. This means not exploiting them or the teachers who support them.
Engage community with commendable means that reflect the honor of military service. I hope that the Renton School District takes note to not support the participation in a military public relations workshop because the teaching relationship is sacred.