The No Child Left Behind by military recruiters opt out form

Tomorrow we’re meeting in front of William Palmer High School to urge students to fill out their opt-out forms.
The No-Child-Left-Behind Act had a provision that gave military recruiters access to all secondary school student records. The act also provided an opt-out clause which allowed individual students to exclude themselves from the information exchange. To do so, their parents have to file the proper request, each year, one copy with their school, a second copy with the Defense Department. Every school district in turn was expected to inform the students and their parents about this option.

In Palmer High School’s District 11, letters were recently sent to all families with the forms and instructions. Whether this qualifies as adequate notice, is subject to question. The letters were sent without fanfare two weeks before the deadline.

Other Colorado Springs districts have done nothing about notifying the parents. The deadline is October 13.

On October 13 every student record from every high school and junior high will be sent to the Pentagon. Not just name, address and phone number, but complete school records. Military recruiters want to be able to profile students to best tailor their approach. Certainly there are typical profiles for present enlistees and recruiters will be able to spot students susceptible to heading that way. Children getting into trouble perhaps, failing certain subjects, showing signs of problems at home, requiring certain medicines, are all green flags for recruiters. A recruiter’s tools could be special field trips, peer groups, free X-Boxes, access to the school premises and your telephone.

There are probably a good number of civil liberty reasons why you wouldn’t want the military to be handling your child’s school records. Right now what your school knows of your child’s medical record, or criminal justice record, or mental health record, or personal counseling, goes no further than the school yard. This information would now travel on laptops in the cars of Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines/Coast Guard recruiters as they court your children between stops at the pawn shop, the strip bar and their home on the wrong side of town.

Not to mention if they succeed with your child, they could get him killed.

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