Information for Educators
Information for Educators
Educators, including school guidance counselors, teachers and school staff are one of the first lines of defense against overly aggressive military recruiters and can ensure that their school is living up to its obligations to protect students’ rights under No Child Left Behind.
- Student Privacy
- Right to Opt Out
No Child Left Behind (NCLB) obligates a school to release student directory information to the military, but also requires the school to give students and parents notification that they can remove themselves from the lists distributed to the military. Students have the right to opt themselves out and should be given the opportunity to do so in homeroom or advisory. Parents also have a right to opt their children out and a letter should be sent home to parents.
Some schools have accomplished this by having the information on an "emergency card" which parents are required to complete and return to the school.
For more information about Opt Out policies, see the Model Policy
- Release of Student Information
- What is the Deadline?:
NCLB does not specify a time frame for providing requested student information to the military. But, no student information can be released until both students and parents have ample time to respond to any school notice to opt out. Ideally opt out forms are given to students and sent to parents in mid-September, and a deadline to return forms is set for late November.
If a parent's objection is untimely or comes after the time that student data is release to the military, it should be possible for recruiters to purge that data. The school should take the lead in working out an arrangement with the requesting recruiting command to purge their list of any information about which a parent has objected.
- What age can be requested?
The U.S. Departments of Defense and Education have indicated that military recruiters can only ask for directory information about students 17 years or older or in the 11th or higher grade. Ideally, all students and parents receive notification annually about their right to opt out. One opt out should be good for a students entire career. Your schools policy should clarify this. If your school doesn’t have a policy, consider adopting one. (link to model policy)
In addition, parents should have the right to object even after their child's information is released. The military may be willing to purge their lists of students who do not wish to be contacted for recruiting purposes.
- Recruiters and the Law
Unfortunately, some military recruiters are either not familiar with the law or chose to ignore it and have made requests for information which schools are not required to release and have made other improper demands which would lessen the privacy rights of students. Only 11th and 12th grade student directory information, including name, address and phone number can be released. Do not feel pressured to release student information before parents and students have ample time to opt out.
- Recruiter Access
No Child Left Behind gives recruiters the same access to students that is given to institutions of higher education and prospective employers. This does not mean preferential access. Schools have the obligation to regulate recruiter access. This means that recruiters cannot roam free or have unfettered access to students. They should make appointments, sign in and out of the school, and set up a table in the same place and manner that college and job recruiters do.
Many schools regulate the amount of times per year that any recruitment agency (college, military, employment) can come to a school.
The military may be a good option for some students. But it is not the only option. Take a look at this list of alternatives and check out some other organizations for more resources
- Military Myths
Military recruiters are under intense pressure from their superiors to meet quotas and fill the ranks of the armed forces. This becomes increasingly hard during a time of war. Recruiters get more aggressive and may use exaggerated or misinformation to try to compel a student to enlist. Check out this list of military myths for another perspective on recruiter promises.
- School Policy on Military Recruitment
A good first step to find out if your school is in compliance with the obligations of No Child Left Behind is to find out if they have a policy on military recruitment. Some schools do, but many don’t. If your school doesn’t have a policy, or has a policy that is lacking check out the model policy developed from successful school military recruitment policies across the state. The model policy addresses the schools obligations under No Child Left Behind while strengthening student privacy protections and increasing transparency.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is an exam that is administered, funded and graded by the military. Oftentimes it is presented to a school as a career test for students. There is no doubt that it is a recruitment tool. According to the US Army Recruiting Command's School Recruiting Program Handbook, The primary purpose of this test is to provide military recruiters "with a source of leads of high school juniors and seniors qualified through the ASVAB for enlistment into the Active Army and Army Reserve."
If your school offers ASVAB, you have the ability to control the release of information. Schools can choose “Option 8” which allows all of the information gathered from the exam to stay private from the military and to be used solely by the student and their parents. The default option is option 1, which immediately releases all information to the military.
- Delayed Entry Program (DEP)
Does signing an enlistment agreement oblige a student to join the military? No. Many students join under the Delayed Entry Program/Future Soldier Program (DEP/FSP). This means “sign up now, go later.” Students can change their mind at any time, even after signing a contract or taking an oath. If students have any trouble please call the GI Rights Hotline for information on the Delayed Entry Program or other legal information for GIs: 1-800-394-9544.