Protect Your Rights: Opt Out!
There are two ways that you must "opt out" in order to protect your privacy. They are:
- "Opting out" of the Department of Defense's JAMRS database will stop the Department from indexing your personal information and distributing it to branches of the military for recruitment purposes. To learn more about the database, go to About the JAMRS Database; to download a template opt-out letter (Word format), click here.
- "Opting out" of No Child Left Behind -- that is, telling your school that it shouldn't release your contact information to the military -- is the first of many steps that you can take to protect yourself from aggressive and invasive military recruiters.
If you haven’t read the information on No Child Left Behind and military recruitment, please check it out to learn more about opting out. If you've already done this, download an opt-out form below and submit it to your school.
To opt out to your school, you can fill out our basic opt-out form (Word document) and either bring it to your principal's office or send it in to the central administration of your school. It lets you choose who can have access to his or her contact information--for instance, you can make sure that military recruiters don't get it but that colleges and prospective employers do. Any student can sign this form.
Some school districts misinterpret the No Child Left Behind Act and require a parent's signature to opt out. This is not a requirement of the law. All high school students—even those 17 and younger—have the right to opt themselves out without a parent's or guardian's signature. In 2010, the United States Department of Education provided the NYCLU with a statement in writing that makes this point clear. Click here to read the letter from the United States Department of Education that explains that parent signatures are not needed to opt out. If your school or district requires a parent signature to opt out, you can show them a copy of this letter, or contact your local NYCLU office for assistance.