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No Child Left Alone

Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 21:42:21 -0500
Subject: No Child Left Behind

Military recruiters want every high school student's name, address and phone, or else they will take federal funding away from the schools. Congress recently passed a national educational bill called the "No Child Left Behind Act of 2001". Here is one of the sections of that bill:


    (a) POLICY

      (1) ACCESS TO STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION - . . . [E]ach local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students names, addresses, and telephone listings.

      (2) CONSENT- A secondary school student or the parent of the student may request that the student's name, address, and telephone listing described in paragraph (1) not be released without prior written parental consent, and the local educational agency or private school shall notify parents of the option to make a request and shall comply with any request.

      3) SAME ACCESS TO STUDENTS- Each local educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide military recruiters the same access to secondary school students as is provided generally to post secondary educational institutions or to prospective employers of those students.

One military recuiter was quoted as saying they would only stop calling the students on these lists "when they call their Congressman or are proven to be deceased". Recruiters have a quota to reach each month, which has gone up since the plans for a war in Iraq and other countries have been made. Reserve forces are called first into battle, then active duty.

Bush plans to mobilize about one quarter of the reserve forces for this war on Iraq, over 250,000 troops. If they exhaust reserves, they may return to drafting men into active duty as they did during the 1960s. They do not keep the people they recruit, most get out before finishing their first term, so they have to recruit hundreds of thousands each year to keep a military of 2.4 million people going or growing larger. Even though they have met quotas in the past, there was no rise of enlistment after September 11.

Now they want to get access to every possible student to recruit them actively by phone and mail.

You do NOT have to give your name over to the recruiters according to the law. You have a Constitutional right to privacy. Either you or your parents can deny that access. It is important to make clear to your school officials that you do not want your name given to them and that you will not give permission for it. Get your parents to back you up on this.

Some schools have not even approached students or parents to ask for permission. They have already handed over the lists. This violates the Privacy Act.

Call Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's office if you are not allowed to refuse to give up your name. We can also assist you here at CHOICES, we know the law and we know where to get legal help. If you are already signed up into a Delayed Entry Program and want out, we can help too.

Because some schools deny access to recruiters on campus, the third part of the section says they should have "equal access" to other career or college options. CHOICES gets into the DC schools because the DC School Board in 1980 ruled that if military recruiters have access, then groups must be allowed in to present other options and a different point of view.

CHOICES veterans come into most high schools on their career days only, one day a year. You must know that the military recruiters and JROTC programs have lots more access to students than any other civilian career or college recruitment program. They are a constant presence in most schools. They have a huge advertising budget and campaign. They are the job that comes looking for you.

Let's give the military real equal access and have them in one day a year. And let's give other options equal access by giving us the same lists once permission is given.

We know that for most young African-American men and women, and other people of color or poor people, the military is one of the few positive-sounding choices they see in front of them. But the reality for them is different. They do not learn useable skills for later life according to 90% of recently discharged veterans. They face a very concentrated form of racial and sexual discrimination and harassment in the military, and end up in the dead-end jobs and combat ranks in disproportionate numbers.

Black males are four times as likely to be court-martialed, and twice as likely to get a bad discharge as white enlistees. And recently discharged Black men are twice as unemployed and four times as homeless as those who do not go in. Even without a war, the military puts young Black people who join at risk of getting a piece of paper that makes it legal to discriminate in hiring them for the rest of their lives.

PO Box 7147
Washington, DC 20044

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