Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority: Printing National Guard Advertisements on Student Transpasses

Earlier today, I came across an appalling photo on my Facebook Feed.  Anne Gemmell, the Political Director for Fight to Philly, posted a controversial photo of her daughter’s SEPTA student transpass.  The transpass in question, which can be seen below, is that of Pennsylvania National Guard member and according to Anne and Helen Gym – a notable Philadelphia Public School Parent and Activist – this photo can be an advertising ploy targeted at public school children as young as 10.

When I reached out to Anne Gemmell, she told me that her daughter has received this pass 2 weeks in a row.  Mrs. Gemmell informed me that this transpass is offensive to some parents and those of the Quaker community.  When I was talking to Helen Gym, she reiterated the same points.  Mrs. Gym wants to know if SEPTA is allowing advertising on their weekly student passes, and she raises the issue asking if the Pennsylvania National Guard using this photo as a recruiting tool to school children as young as 10 years old.  Mrs. Gym noted that her daughter – who is in a Philadelphia public high school – isn’t eligible to receive the weekly pass, but her daughter’s friends have been talking about this issue in her school.

After I saw this photo, I contacted the SEPTA public relations office, and I will update this story as I receive more information.

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About Sean Kitchen 681 Articles
Contributor and Assistant Editor for the Raging Chicken Press. Stationed in Harrisburg covering politics in the capitol. You can send tips to or reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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5 Comments on Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority: Printing National Guard Advertisements on Student Transpasses

  1. My daughter is in Quaker school and they are not even allowed to wear fashion choices that in any way are militaristic in style – in other words, try to explain to an 11 year old in the middle of Justice why she is NOT ALLOWED to have the pink camouflage sparkly miniskirt, because mom doesn’t want to have to have a tug of war over it twice each week for the whole school year to keep her from getting a note sent home.

    This should be other choices, not just this – what if it was triggering for a vet or the children of someone who died serving? Very poor taste for a student pass, and I find whoever OK’d this to be having questionable logic and sense. And if it’s a paid advertisement, that’s ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE – what’s next, the Hooters Girls? Their money is just as green, and most of us find war far more atrocious and objectionable.

    • What’s next, a pass with a Predator drone and Hell Fire missiles? The military needs to stay out of schools–physically and in coded ways such as the outrageous warrior photo Transpass.

      • I am a proud National Guardsman and recent graduate of High School and I believe that there is nothing wrong with the National Guard displaying ads on student transpasses but I do have a problem with the ads on normal transpasses, such as McDonalds and other fast food companies and the fact that they are the sole reason why more than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese, which I see as a problem why should fast food “joints” have the biggest spotlight. Shouldn’t products such as Dole, Del Monte or Deer Park have equal amounts of ads on busses, trains and transpasses and to be honest I think America has its priorities fucked up we should not be worried about National Guard ads on student transpasses because at the end of the day it’s that student who is looking at the transpass and evaluating their future wondering what they want to become, they may want to become a Doctor, Lawyer or Teacher not a National Guardsmen. Think of it this way if it were an ad for becoming a Heart surgeon, would u feel the same way. But as I previously stated the choice is up to that child, why take away that child’s choices Why limit their possibilities. (I’m not a recruiter and in no way am i attempting to persuade change anyone’s mind or perception about the National Guard I’m just trying to state facts.

        • Chris,

          thanks for the comment. I come at this whole issue from little bit of a different angle. Like, why the hell are there ANY ads on students’ bus passes…or, for that matter, their report cards, book covers, or other necessities. I have less of an issue, personally, with National Guard ads on bus passes (I know the author and others will take more of an issue with this) than I do with the fact that we have so underfunded our schools and public transportation systems that they are forced to sell ads to raise funds. As the father of a 4-year-old and an 18-month-old, I don’t want my kids to be forced to view ads on every surface they encounter…especially when it comes to their schools. I look around and watch as our state, city, and federal governments are decimating all things public. People fought and died for these things…and not just overseas. People fought at home for access to good public schools, quality public transportation, and a decent life. To see that rolled back right now should be seen as a slap in the face to anyone who ever fought for this county…at home or overseas.

          Kevin Mahoney
          Editor, Raging Chicken Press

    • This kind of militaristic brainwashing of our children may help us understand the degree of violence in our schools. We are violent from the White House in DC to the white house down the block. Government sanctioned aggression permeates our entire culture. Can you cover the pic on the pass?

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