Ivo Skoric on Sun, 10 Nov 2002 17:40:04 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-bold] Re: 'Let No Child Remain Unrecruited'

I think they should bypass schools altogether. In communist 
Yugoslavia, where military service is compulsory, the army 
collected information at birth, than tracked all the residence 
changes through the police database (because residence changes 
had to be registered with police), and when you were 18, you got a 
letter advising you where to show up for the interview with the 
friendly recruiter. The system was failing only with kids born 
abroad, whose fathers were not in military so there were no family 
records (like me, hehehe). However, this was solved by the law that 
required every male older than 18 to show a proof of his military 
service status to obtain a passport. So, in order to renew a 
passport, I had to register. Later I managed to get a release from 
service for health reasons (mental health). George Bush has a long 
way to make this country a proper dictatorship, but he is sure on 
the right track.

Date sent:      	Sat, 09 Nov 2002 05:07:10 -0500
To:             	CERJ@igc.org
From:           	CERJ@igc.org
Subject:        	'Let No Child Remain Unrecruited'


No Child Unrecruited 
-- Should the military be given the names of every high school student in America?
by David Goodman  
November/December 2002 Issue

Sharon Shea-Keneally, principal of Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont, was shocked when she received a letter in May from military recruiters demanding a list of all her students, including names, addresses, and phone numbers.  The school invites recruiters to participate in 
career days and job fairs, but like most school districts, it keeps student information strictly confidential.

"We don't give out a list of names of our kids to anybody," says Shea-Keneally, "not to colleges, churches, employers -- nobody."

But when Shea-Keneally insisted on an explanation, she was in for an even bigger surprise: The recruiters cited the No Child Left Behind Act, President Bush's sweeping new education law passed earlier this year.  There, buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public 
secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student -- or face a cutoff of all federal aid.

"I was very surprised the requirement was attached to an education law," says Shea-Keneally.  "I did not see the link."

The military complained this year that up to 15 percent of the nation's high schools are "problem s
chools" for recruiters.  In 1999, the Pentagon says, recruiters were denied access to 19,228 school
s.  Rep. David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana who sponsored the new recruitment requirement, s
ays such schools "demonstrated an anti-military attitude that I thought was offensive."

To many educators, however, requiring the release of personal information intrudes on the rights of
 students.  "We feel it is a clear departure from the letter and the spirit of the current student 
privacy laws," says Bruce Hunter, chief lobbyist for the American Association of School Administrat
ors.  Until now, schools could share student information only with other educational institutions. 
"Now other people will want our lists," says Hunter.  "It's a slippery slope.  I don't want student
 directories sent to Verizon either, just because they claim that all kids need a cell phone to be 

The new law does give students the right to withhold their records.  But school officials are given
 wide leeway in how to implement the law, and some are simply handing over student directories to r
ecruiters without informing anyone -- leaving students without any say in the matter.

"I think the privacy implications of this law are profound," says Jill Wynns, president of the San 
Francisco Board of Education.  "For the federal government to ignore or discount the concerns of th
e privacy rights of millions of high school students is not a good thing, and it's something we sho
uld be concerned about."

Educators point out that the armed services have exceeded their recruitment goals for the past two 
years in a row, even without access to every school.  The new law, they say, undercuts the authorit
y of some local school districts, including San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, that have barred re
cruiters from schools on the grounds that the military discriminates against gays and lesbians.  Of
ficials in both cities now say they will grant recruiters access to their schools and to student in
formation -- but they also plan to inform students of their right to withhold their records.

Some students are already choosing that option.  According to Principal Shea-Keneally, 200 students
 at her school -- one-sixth of the student body -- have asked that their records be withheld.

Recruiters are up-front about their plans to use school lists to aggressively pursue students throu
gh mailings, phone calls, and personal visits -- even if parents object.  "The only thing that will
 get us to stop contacting the family is if they call their congressman," says Major Johannes Paraa
n, head U.S. Army recruiter for Vermont and northeastern New York.  "Or maybe if the kid died, we'l
l take them off our list."

What do you think?
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

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