Saturday, March 8, 2014
By REP. PETER DOAK
After reading the June 10 article, "Educators: LePage administration misinformed about military recruiters," and being in the middle of the debate, I felt compelled to clarify a few things about the bill to allow military recruiters the same access to schools as civilian recruiters and to be able to wear their uniforms on the premises.
First, what we have is a he-said-she-said situation where military recruiters are telling the LePage Administration that certain schools are giving them limited access and/or refusing to let them enter wearing their uniforms, and school administrators are saying that's not true. I'll let the readers decide who has the greater incentive to fudge the truth. For my Democratic colleagues to imply that this is some kind of manufactured crisis is a low-ball insult to the governor and to our military. The bottom line is this: Recruiters are telling us that schools are giving them a hard time, we introduced a bill to fix it, and Democrats obstructed it out of some strange political suspicion. Some even said on the House floor that schools should be able to make service members take off their uniforms before entering schools.
As a former green beret who served in Vietnam, I can say that this disrespect smacks of the shameful days when our troops were greeted with derision. As a former school principal, I can say that if recruiters are going to the governor, there's something wrong in Sanford and North Berwick.
Rep. Peter Doak, R-Columbia Falls, is a member of the Maine Legislature.