Draft bill proposed in Congress
By 03/06/2003 00:00:00
The Ellis County Press
ENNIS - A draft bill has been proposed in Congress, but has failed to attract media attention.
It did, however, get the attention of the Ennis High School newspaper staff.
According to the proposed legislation, filed by Sen. Ernest Hollings, (D-SC) Jan. 7, high school and college students, both guys and girls ages 18 to 26, would be required to serve two years in military uniform or community service.
If religious views prohibit or interfere with mandatory service, draftees would serve in a 'Homeland Security' capacity, such as a neighborhood watch program or civilian service the president deems fit.
'I'm about to turn 18 and on my birthday, I don't want to worry about going to war,' said Ennis High School senior Ben Rejcek. 'I don't like war and I don't support it.'
Requiring young adults to serve in the military would give them a sense of patriotism, according to proponents of the bill.
Bush Administration officials, though, have ruled out bringing back a draft.
However, in the new 'No Child Left Behind' bill President Bush signed, high school counselors are required by law to hand over information about students military recruiters ask for.
The bill itself includes a postponement of service
clause; students in high school or in full-time course study at college would be able to opt out until their grades fell below satisfactory levels or when they reach the age of 20, according to the bill.
'If you want to be drafted, you would have signed up [in the first place],' said EHS junior Rachael Brister. 'It's [draft bill] pathetic.'
In all, the EHS students said the draft would be a violation of their U.S. Constitutional rights.