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Friday, November 08, 2002


It seems that deep with the text of the "No Child Left Behind Act" recently passed by Congress there is a provision that requires all schools to turn over the personal information of any and every student to military recruiters. If schools refuse, they are faced with the cut-off of all federal aid.

I can imagine that some parents and students do not wish to be contacted, and yet, parents have no ability to prevent it. There is a provision to allow students to "opt-out" of the program, but only if they know that there school administrators haven't already turned over their records.

There is a particularly troubling quote from the article that points up the arrogance and demeaning nature of the provision.

"The only thing that will get us to stop contacting the family is if they call their congressman," says Major Johannes Paraan, head U.S. Army recruiter for Vermont and northeastern New York. "Or maybe if the kid died, we'll take them off our list."

Whether you have problems with the program or not, burying provisions such as this within 670 pages of text is a sure way to shatter trust between government and citizen. It also behooves all of us to be even more watchful of the work that is done in our names.

Via Mother Jones


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