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Parents and School Boards across the country speak up!

From New Jersey to California, from Pennsylvania to Oregon, from New York to Washington state, there is a movement for parents to take charge of their children’s fate when it comes to military recruitment.

Parents do not want do not want their children’s biographical and contact information released to the military. The high school administrations put themselves in a bind by signing on for Federal funds through the “No Child Left Behind” program. NCLB is a worthy program created to enable schools to serve the underprivileged of their community. Through questionable motives, a provision was passed by Congress in 2001 that requires public high schools to release student contact information, including addresses, ages and phone numbers, to branches of the military. Especially daunting since the provision comes with an enforcement penalty: a school that does not turn the information over to the military authorities would lose its federal funding.

However, some astute researchers found a loophole. An additional provision allows parents to opt out of releasing contact information to the military recruiters. Of course, they have to know that the option exists. . .

One of the most proactive groups is in Montclair, New Jersey. A group there created a notification policy to protect students’ privacy. The plan was presented to the Montclair Board of Education in 2003 and approved. Of the 1,937 students in Montclair High Schools, 91 percent returned the forms. Of the families that returned the forms, some 92 percent indicated that they did not want their children’s information released to the military

Now there's a sophisticated group that can help you get off the military's list.
Go to: Leave My Child Alone!

The Press is responding to the situation:

Parents Say "No" to military recruiters
The Montclair Times (Thursday, January 27, 2005)

Montclair families don’t have a problem releasing their children’s contact information to colleges, but distributing those records to military recruiters is another story.

Initially, many parents didn’t know their children’s records were being released or that they could prevent it from happening, until a student-led activist organization at the high school stepped forward.

Military Recruiters Draw Fire at Schools

Associated Press (June 17, 2005)
PHILADELPHIA - Nancy Carroll didn't know schools were giving military recruiters her family's contact information until a recruiter called her 17-year-old granddaughter.
   That didn't sit well with Carroll, who believes recruiters unfairly target minority students. So she joined activists across the country who are urging families to notify schools that they don't want their children's contact information given out.

Uncle Sam Really Wants You

New York Times, (June 16, 2005)
With the situation in Iraq deteriorating and the willingness of Americans to serve in the armed forces declining, a little-known Army publication called the "School Recruiting Program Handbook" is becoming increasingly important, and controversial.
   The handbook is the recruiter's bible, the essential guide for those who have to go into the nation's high schools and round up warm bodies to fill the embarrassingly skimpy ranks of the Army's basic training units.
   The handbook declares forthrightly, “The goal is school ownership that can only lead to a greater number of Army enlistments.”

Too Few, Yet Too Many
New York Times, Editorial, Op-Ed (Monday, May 30, 2005)
One of the more bizarre aspects of the Iraq war has been President Bush's repeated insistence that his generals tell him they have enough troops. Even more bizarrely, it may be true—I mean, that his generals tell him that they have enough troops, not that they actually have enough.

Riff over Recruiting at Public High Schools

Christian Science Monitor (Wednesday 18 May 2005)
SEATTLE – The school is perhaps one of the first in the nation to debate and vote against military recruiting on high school campuses - a topic already simmering at the college level. In fact, the Supreme Court recently agreed to decide whether the federal government can withhold funds from colleges that bar military recruiters.
Douglas Smith, a US Army spokesman, said the job of recruiters is not to make promises but to show applicants possibilities and career options.


“As for a recruiter making promises and not following through, the recruiter's not in any position to promise anything. We hope that all our recruiters are communicating honestly with our applicants,” Mr. Smith said. But he added, “In the contract [which is not a contract at all, click here to see the decision in a VA court proceeding] it says, 'Anything the recruiter may have promised me is moot.'”

Navy Judge finds war protest reasonable
TRUTHOUT Report (Friday 13 May 2005)
"I think that the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal," states Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant, presiding at Pablo Paredes' court-martial.

In a stunning blow to the Bush administration, a Navy judge gave Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes no jail time for refusing orders to board the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard before it left San Diego with 3,000 sailors and Marines bound for the Persian Gulf on December 6th. Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant found Pablo guilty of missing his ship's movement by design, but dismissed the charge of unauthorized absence. Although Pablo faced one year in the brig, the judge sentenced him to two months' restriction and three months of hard labor, and reduced his rank to seaman recruit.

Appeals Court Backs Forced Extensions
SAN FRANCISCO (May 13, 2005)
The U.S. military has the right to keep soldiers in the service beyond their original contracted time by issuing so-called emergency stop-loss orders, a U.S. appeals court said on Friday.

 


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