Representatives of Parents United for Public Education have been speaking out against a student transpass that features an advertisement for the Pennsylvania National Guard.
On the one side, those for whom war is offensive are bothered that students should be targeted with military recruitment ads. Many students are eligible to receive the passes for free, so there may be a perception that they are powereless to avoid them. And it amounts to one more aspect of a kid’s environment parents can’t control.
On the other side, the military is a part of the world we live in. Blocking a National Guard ad from appearing on a transpass will hardly protect any student from books, news outlets, television shows, video games and movies depicting military action — or the real, live men and women in uniform we see among us.
There is a difference between recruiters targeting kids at shopping malls and a transit pass ad that, actually, contains no recruitment message.
And, whatever one’s opinion of war, military service is regarded by countless families as honorable and respectable.
Are fast food ads on transpasses also a danger to students? Any ad targeted toward kids is bound to make parents nervous — from Saturday morning cartoon commercials to cereal boxes promoting toys and movies. What advertiser likely to spend money for SEPTA space would not be bothersome to someone?
If something can be advertised on the walls of a SEPTA station or on the sides of a bus, should it be fair game for the transpass as well? Let us know what you think below.
By the way, to my knowledge, no parents have spoken out publicly about students’ exposure to poor grammar in the ad. The missing apostrophe is clearly a poor choice on the part of the ad’s copywriter.