Letter to the Editor: Full disclosure needed

2 mins read

A little-known provision of the No Child Left Behind Act allows military recruitment offices access to the personal contact information for upper grade level students in schools across the U.S.A.

There is only one way in which parents may block the school from handing over this information to the military: They must choose to OPT OUT, according to a form letter that is typically carried home by students in the early part of the school year. Concerned parents should watch for this flyer info and read it carefully.

By choosing to make the Opt Out selection, parents block the possibility of recruiters showing up at their door one day, perhaps while they are at work. With no one to intervene, who will hold the recruiters accountable for what they tell area youth?

Are they sharing the information, for instance, that the choice of a military career is the one career that you don’t simply “quit.” Unlike other jobs, not showing up for work can result in a military court proceeding and end with time behind bars.

Western Mountains Peace Action Workshop is utilizing grant money in our community to achieve full disclosure on the above issues and on the “promises” that recruiters may make to a youth within their sights. Among other materials, there is a list of questions that any youth or parent should ask the recruiters – along with a factual answer to the question as to how the military is currently functioning.

Western Mountains Peace Action has a resource book of alternative service careers, along with contact information. A number of these pay stipends or fund some college costs. Our area youth need to have access to these resources and job possibilities.

Eileen Kreutz

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