Rep. Wilson wants virtual school students in ranks

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Students who attend computer-based virtual schools across the country are given second-class status when they try to join the military, and S.C. Representative Joe Wilson said Wednesday he will work to get the policy changed.

“We are dealing with new technology,” said the Republican lawmaker, after meeting with an 18-year-old student who wants to join the Air Force but has encountered difficulties in his attempt to enlist. “We just need to keep adapting.”

Wilson, who heads the House Armed Services personnel subcommittee, said he thinks “thousands” of students nationwide may be affected by the policy, which places students who graduate from traditional schools ahead of those with home school or other alternative credentials.

Wilson argued that at a time when the nation is at war, the Pentagon should be seeking out students who meet the military’s high-tech needs, not making it harder on them.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.)