education law requires highschools to hand over key info on students to military

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by medea, Dec 3, 2002.

  1. macrumors 68030


    A little-noticed provision in a new federal education law is requiring high schools to hand over to military recruiters some key information about its juniors and seniors: name, address and phone number.

    The Pentagon says the information will help it recruit young people to defend their country. But the new law disturbs parents and administrators in some liberal communities that aren't exactly gung-ho about the armed forces.

    Some say the law violates students' privacy and creates a moral dilemma over the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.

    "I find it appalling that the school is sending out letters to do the job of the military," said Amy Lang, the parent of a student at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, where Coke was once banned in a protest against the soda giant's investments in apartheid South Africa. "It's clearly an invasion of my daughter's privacy."

    The No Child Left Behind law, signed last January, pumps billions into education but also gives military recruiters access to the names, addresses and phone numbers of students in 22,000 schools. The law also says that schools must give the military the same access to their campuses that businesses and college recruiters enjoy.

    School systems that fail to comply could lose federal money. The measure also applies to private schools receiving federal funding. But Quaker schools and others that have a religious objection to military service can get out of the requirement.

    Students and parents who oppose the law can keep their information from being turned over to the military, but they must sign and return an "opt-out" form.

    Opting out

    The Boston school system, which has 7,500 juniors and seniors, included the opt-out notice in a take-home student handbook, but fewer than a dozen parents opted out.

    So far, 95 percent of the nation's schools are in compliance, said Pentagon spokeswoman Maj. Sandra Troeber. She would not identify the other schools. But Education Department spokesman Dan Langan said that the current focus is on cooperation and that no schools have been sanctioned.

    Federal law already requires men to register with the Selective Service within 30 days of turning 18. The new law, however, enables the Pentagon to reach potential recruits when they are 15 or 16.

    In New York City, Daniel Alterman was taken aback when his 15-year-old son, a junior at Stuyvesant High, received a recruitment letter.

    "Parents are in the dark," Alterman said. "It freaked me out. I didn't sign up to support the military effort."

    Alterman said after he opted out, his son received another letter, this one promoting scholarships. "It was very seductive. They didn't say anything about risk to personal safety," Alterman said.

    Among those objecting to the new requirements is the New York City chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Executive director Donna Lieberman said that the opt-out provision is inadequate and that schools should be doing more to protect students' privacy.

    In a letter last month, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Education Secretary Rod Paige reminded high school administrators of their duty, and cited "the excellent educational opportunities the military affords, as well as an environment that encourages the development of strong character and leadership skills."

    'We had to comply with the law'

    The Pentagon said better access to students could also hold down the rising costs of recruitment. Over the past decade, the cost per recruit has nearly doubled from $6,500 to $11,600.

    Before the law, military recruiters could meet with students in Cambridge and Northampton on campus only if the student sought them out, and then only at a meeting attended by a guidance counselor. But Cambridge held a military career fair at the high school a month ago.

    "It's a vast departure from the way we've done business," said Donna Harlan, an associate superintendent in the Northampton school system. "We are not in the business of giving lists of names of kids to anybody. That was tough. The issue was if we were to receive federal or state money, we had to comply with the law."

    The law also spelled the end of a 6-year ban on military recruiting on campus in Portland, Oregon. After contending that the "don't ask, don't tell" policy discriminates against gays, the school system now gives recruiters a shot at its 16,000 students.

    In Massachusetts, Framingham High senior April Middleton decided over lunch recently that maybe the military is in her future after talking with Army National Guard Sgt. Louis Perrin, a recruiter who visited the cafeteria.

    Middleton, 18, said she plans to enlist after she graduates, and the prospect of war has not scared her off. "Sometimes you've got to make sacrifices," she said.

    Sometimes, however, recruiters battle hostility.

    "One teacher said we were trying to brainwash kids. All we were doing was handing out pencils," Perrin said. "We're not trying to invade anybody's privacy. We're just trying to protect their freedoms."
  2. macrumors P6


    I would like to see a return to the draft. Like Israel a mandatory 2 years service. No exemption. Both men and women should serve, NOW wants equality. They should be allowed to choose Americorps Or Peace Corps. The price of freedom should come at a price. Would instill morals & respect of authority.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    What kind of crack are you smoking? :rolleyes:
  4. macrumors 68030


    What? you are obviously not joking about this and I have to wonder what makes you think that a mandatory 2 years in the military would be fair. Whose authority am I supposed to respect wdlove? a politician such as Bush who was never in the miliatry yet is so quick to go to war? please man, get off the crack........if something like this were to happen I would quickly change my nationality.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Well, I didn't know that you feel that its ok to kill 3,000 innocent people, and have nothing done.

    Oh and if you are talking about Iraq, I see kill Saddam and let the country go under new ruling.

    I think you need to get off the crack.
  6. job
    macrumors 68040


    Back to the law element...

    The information in question is already available to institutions such as the College Board and other intellectual and educational programs.

    So what's the difference if the government has a mailing address for you?

    It's not as if they are forcing you to do anything.

    And besides, minors have no rights protected by the Bill of Rights.
  7. macrumors G4


    Since when did Saddam have anything to do with 9/11? I thought that was all Bin-Laden's crew and most of them were Saudies if I'm not mistaken.

    Oh and back on topic...
    Unless there is a draft, then nobody should be forced to sign up for anything military.

    I'm becoming a bigger fan of Ben Franklin every day, I wish our government would do the same.
  8. job
    macrumors 68040



    As minors, the information in question is freely available to any organisation, federal or private which wishes to view it.

    The public school system can freely distribute your address and info.

    Private schools are a little different, but that is besides the point.

    No one is forcing you to sign up for anything.

    It's like getting a credit card proposal in the mail. So what. You don't like it, pitch it. No one is stopping you. You are not obligated to do anything.

    Edit: Also, any male 18 or older is eligible for the draft, even if there is not one. In essence, every adult male American citizen is "signed up" for the military, whether they like it or not.
  9. macrumors P6


    I don't smoke not even cigarettes! No illegal drugs of any kind. I feel that loyal American's would be willing to sacrifice for their country. Remember the greatest generation. All through the history of this country our citizens have been willing to sacrifie for their country. Its called patriotism.

    We've also had people by conscious that can't serve, with reasonable circumstances such a category sholuld be setup. Some sort of civilian service should not be objectionable.

    President Bush served as a fighter pilot in the Air Force Reserve.

    I seved active duty 2 years, reserves for 10 years, now retired as a Captain.
    Worked for the VA 1976 - 1993, now retired.
  10. job
    macrumors 68040


    I really don't see what the issue is here.

    There are recruiting stations in my public school which openly attempt to get seniors to join any branch of the armed services.

    The military will get your personal information when you turn 18 and register for the draft, so what's the difference of a few years?
  11. macrumors 68030


    Correction, he TRAINED as a fighter pilot. check out these pages for more info on his actual military career (or lack there of.....)

    As far as minors not having any rights, shouldnt this be up to the parents then and not the government? (and yes there is an opt-out form)
    How come for the government to continue to protect our freedoms we have to continually give those freedoms up?
  12. job
    macrumors 68040


    Yes it is an issue that the parents should address.

    They should make sure they understand what they are signing and allowing before they start whining about it.

    Now if there was no choice (i.e. no opt-out) then I would have a problem with this.
  13. macrumors G4

    I should have said that nobody should be forced to join the military, not sign up for it unless there is a draft.

  14. macrumors 6502a

    Okay, if you live in the country, your information should be accessable by the government and military recruiting agencies. Nobody is forcing anyone to do anything. I don't see what the big deal is.

    We (most of us on MR) live in the US, a very wealthy and well off country.

    It is statements like this that makes me sick. How fairweather can you be? If the day comes where I need to die for my country and a "war monger" like bush (who we elected by the way) commands it, I'll do it.
  15. job
    macrumors 68040


    I'm with you all the way.
  16. macrumors G4


    I would too, but I don't want to die meaninglessly and for the wrong purpose which I think this little Iraq fiasco is turning into.
  17. job
    macrumors 68040



    We have to also remember that the President does not "command" anything.

    It takes an act of Congress to declare war.

    But details aside, I am willing to lay my life down for my country.

    I will be draft eligable next summer and I am willing to lay my life down for my country.
  18. macrumors 68030


    Look I'm not anti-american, but I do disagree with a lot of things this country does, and it's my right to do so. I don't agree with our current president and his motives on anything and I refuse to drop off a cliff for him like a lemming just to be patriotic. Maybe you don't disagree with the war on Iraq, but what if there were a war that you did disagree with? If you didnt want to go to war but were made to do so how good of a soldier do you think you would end up being?
  19. macrumors P6


    I would like to see Congress make a formal declaration of war against Terrorism, called for by the Constitution. It would show the world that we mean business. Iraq is a terrorist state. With a formal declaration there would be more cooperation from our allies. We are in a struggle for our very survival, headlines every day of those that want to do us harm!

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