No Thanks, ALERT Men
BIG SANDY, Texas - Home education conference workers in Texas are fed up with the ALERT program, which relocated to Big Sandy, Texas several years ago. "The problem is that these ALERT guys show up at every homeschool event in the state," complained one coordinator. "We may not want an affiliation with a para-military program, but we aren't given a choice." He pointed out that ALERT men, in their distinctive navy blue BDU's and t-shirts, always attract media attention. "And then the whole city thinks we're a bunch of G.I. Joe's, when that's not what homeschooling is about."
"You go to pick up a box and 15 ALERT men swarm around you to help," said a homeschool vendor who sells books at homeschool fairs throughout the summer. "They're all so polite you hate to tell them to get lost."
A conference manager in west Texas is grateful for the help at homeschool conferences, but he has a different concern about ALERT men. "They're shameless flirts. They end up getting in the way of our vendors because they hang around the attractive young women working the tables." Numerous suggestions have been made to curb the coquetries, but nothing has been effective up to this point.
Conferences and vendors have no intentions of banning ALERT men at this time.