MARCH 4, 2003
Green Party of the United States
Nancy Allen, 207-326-4576, firstname.lastname@example.org; Scott
McLarty, 202-518-5624, email@example.com
'No Child Left Behind' Act's Military Recruitment
Provision Violates the Rights of Students, Parents, and Schools;
Citing invasion of privacy and wartime targeting
of children, Greens urge Congress to repeal the provision; Idaho
Greens make a legal 'opt-out' form available; students organize
a March 5 'Books Not Bombs' strike for peace.
- March 4 - Greens today urged Congress to repeal the provision
of the 'No Child Left Behind' Act that requires the 22,000 high
schools receiving federal funding to turn over the names, phone
numbers, and addresses of all students to military recruiters.
The act authorizes recruiters to make unsolicited calls, send
direct-mail recruitment literature, and visit students' homes
without the consent or knowledge of their parents.
education reform bill is really about leaving no child behind
when we send our troops to invade another country," said Pete
Looker, a Green activist in Saratoga Springs, New York, whose
daughter attends high school. "Parents are aghast to learn that
schools are sending their children's contact information to military
recruiters. It's an invasion of students' right to privacy, it
interferes with parents' right to guide their children in career
choices, and it undermines local community control ofschools.
Some schools have recognized this, and their refusal to participate
is entirely justified."
that, at a minimum, school officials should only provide a student's
information to military recruiters when parents give their express
permission, rather than requiring parents and students to opt
out of theprogram. The military has already accepted such opt-in
lists from several school districts in New York. The federal law
does not provide for a cutoff of federal funding for noncompliance.
The Idaho Green
Party has drafted a form that assists high school students in
having their names removed from the list that the school is required
to give to military recruiters. The form, which has been reviewed
by two attorneys, can be accessed in PDF at http://www.idahogreenparty.org.
the U.S. have begun to protest the policy. The National Youth
and Student Peace Coalition (NYSPC) has announced a one-day student
strike on Wednesday, March 5, 2003 to protest the war on Iraq.
Students participating in 'Books Not Bombs!' will demand that
administrators stopsending student information to military recruiters
without consent from parents and students, as well as declare
opposition to the war and military research contracts, and support
for freezing or lowering tuition and fees.
join the military because they can't afford college costs and
don't have real job opportunities in their communities," said
Ben Manski, Green Party Co-Chair and a law student at the University
of Wisconsin. Manski noted that more than half of high school
students enrolled in Junior ROTC are students of color. "Given
the Supreme Court's expected decision on affirmative action, the
military may soon become the only exit point for many youth."
"As the U.S.
prepares to enter a war, the effect of the No Child Left Behind
Act is to pressure children from low-income backgrounds into enlisting
in order to send them to the Iraqi front," added J. Roy Cannon,
Delaware Green Party member and community-based Mental Health
was inserted after the Pentagon complained that 15% of U.S. high
schools are "problem schools" for recruiters. Some school districts,
including San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, had barred recruiters
on the grounds that the military discriminates against gays and
lesbians. In 1999, the Pentagon claimed that recruiters were denied
access to schools on 19,228 occasions. The sponsor of the provision,
Rep. David Vitter (R-Louisana)argued that schools "demonstrated
an anti-military attitude that I thought was offensive."
officials in Maine have warned teachers that children of military
personnel were upset by antiwar discussion in classes, many more
parents are upset that high schools are now required to participate
in the military recruitment of their children," said ex-Marine
and longtime Green Party organizer Howie Hawkins of Syracuse,
New York. "The increased militarism in our schools and from our
national leaders and the media is an attempt to condition us to
accept war. The new law undercuts the authority of school districts
to control what happens in the schools."
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