Nine Democratic members of Congress have officially co-sponsored Rep. Mike Honda’s (D-CA) bill for amending the No Child Left Behind Act to protect high school students from military recruiters.
Honda introduced the “Student Privacy Protection Act of 2005” last month. The legislation would block public schools from releasing personal information about students to recruiters without the explicit permission of the student or parent. Under the NCLB Act, schools risk losing federal aid if they do not hand over the names of every students along with their home phone numbers and home addresses. A student or parent wishing to opt out must file paperwork with the school requesting their personal information not be handed over.
Co-sponsoring Honda’s legislation are Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA) and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL).
In addition, the No Child Left Behind Act requires that military recruiters be given near-unfettered access to school grounds.
“Military recruitment efforts are omnipresent inside our public schools,” writes Michael Berg, director of the Carolina Peace Resource Center in a recent article. “Recruiters walk freely around high school cafeterias in uniforms and talk to students. They hang posters on the school walls. They loiter in the parking lots. A recent Richland 1 career fair for eighth graders, held at Fort Jackson (South Carolina), had those representing careers other than the military confined behind tables and answering three short questions, while military personnel operated in groups wandering around, intercepting and talking to children at will.”
For an excellent overview of the military recruiting provisons of the No Child Left Behind Act read David Goodman’s article “No Child Left Unrecruited” from Mother Jones.