NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale Law School will end its policy of not working with military recruiters after a court ruling this week jeopardized about $300 million in federal funding, officials said Wednesday.
Yale and other universities have objected to the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which allows gay men and women to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation to themselves.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Yale on Monday, rejecting its argument that its right to academic freedom was infringed by a federal law that says universities must give the military the same access as other job recruiters or forfeit federal money.
“The fact is we have been forced under enormous pressure to acquiescence in a policy that we believe is deeply offensive and harmful to our students,” said Robert Burt, a Yale law professor who was lead plaintiff in the case.
Archive for the ‘No Child Left Behind Act’ Category
Most Manatee County School Board members, under the advocacy of Superintendent Roger Dearing, are unwilling to distribute “Opt Out From the Military Recruiters” forms to students when high schools open on Monday.
Coalition of Concerned Patriots members have appeared monthly for three years at meetings, pointing out the need for making opt-out forms available to students.
Why? The No Child Left Behind Act requires that the names, addresses and phone numbers of all high school students be turned over to military recruiters, unless their parents/guardians tell schools, in writing, that they’re opting out. Collier, Lee and Pinellas counties distribute opt-out forms. Manatee and Sarasota counties continue to drag their feet.
Our coalition invites people to become involved so students’ personal information is not automatically given to the military. This will happen unless an opt-out form is submitted in writing to the appropriate high school principal by Sept. 15.
A sample letter is at www.manatee.k12.fl.us under “Hot topics” but it is not a form that can be downloaded and completed. Dearing and a School Board majority made it clear at the board’s meeting Thursday that no form will be distributed when schools open.
For many students badgered by recruiters, this could be a life and death issue if they’re deployed for war. Without the opt-out form, consequences may be dire. It’s time for the Manatee County School Board to distribute the forms. Let Dearing and the School Board know. Call 708-8770!
The writer is co-chairman of the Coalition of Concerned Patriots. He resides in Bradenton.
When it comes to military recruitment in public schools, no child’s information is left inaccessible.
According to a brief section of the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), any school receiving federal funding is required to provide military recruiters with middle and high school students’ names, phone numbers, and addresses upon request. Meanwhile, the Pentagon maintains a Department of Defense (DoD) database known as the Joint Advertising and Market Research Studies Recruiting Database that contains extensive information on approximately 30 million Americans ages 16 to 25.
The database is updated daily and includes information such as social security number, grade point average, ethnicity, areas of study, height, weight, email address, selective service registration, and phone number. Individuals may opt out from being included in this database but must repeat this process upon changing address. Many objectors claim that this database violates the Federal Privacy Act.
The military also uses the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery as a means of information gathering. The “most widely used multiple aptitude test in the world,” the DoD develops and maintains the test and more than half of America’s high schools participate. Students’ scores determine which occupations best suit them. Taking the ASVAB is also a requirement for military enlistment.
In order for their tests to be processed, students are required to sign a waiver that allows the military to keep any information provided on the form for various uses. In most cases, military recruiters automatically receive copies of students’ scores, names, grades, sex, addresses, phone numbers, and post-graduation plans unless the school decides against releasing this information.
“Many students will take the ASVAB and not know what it is,” Pitcaithley says. “It gives the military a foot in the door to accessing students.”
One mother says that during her son’s freshmen orientation this summer at Baldwin High School on Maui, a guidance counselor mentioned the ASVAB as a free test offered to students by the military.
A local organization is informing students that they can prevent that [students’ information being released to recruiters] from happening.
Thursday morning the Central Valley Counter Recruitment Coalition handed out flyers at several high schools including Fresno High School in Central Fresno.
Organizers say there is a form students can use to keep their contact information private from the military.
Scott Keys, CVCRC, says, “It’s really about helping them understand this, rights imbedded in the No Child Left Behind Act.”
Organizers say the act allows the information to be released. They say they want students to know about it and that they have the option to opt out.
They also say students are not required to take a military readiness test which can release their contact information.
The phone number for author of this story, Bill Zlatos, is listed at the end. Consider calling him to ask why no student, parent or member of a peace group is quoted in this article.
After a monthlong battle, the city school board adopted a policy Wednesday night that restricts military and other recruiters in schools.
In response to complaints about military recruiters by parents and peace groups, the board voted 8-1 to adopt five guidelines that take effect this school year, with school board member Mark Brentley dissenting.
The new rules do the following:
* Require recruiters to register with the principal or an administrator upon arrival.
* Require a district employee to escort recruiters around a school unless they can show proof of having state and federal clearances or a statement from their employer that they have such clearances.
* Prohibit them from sponsoring contests, drawings, lotteries or from exchanging gifts unless they are of scholarships or are of minimal value.
* Ban them from using exhibits that violate the district’s weapons policy or using video games that depict weapons or violence.
* Limit them to meeting students in areas designated by the principal.
Youth Against War and Racism, based in cities across the north and northwestern areas of the country, is fighting the good fight against military recruiters in schools.
Last Wednesday students visited the Seattle School Board meeting again to demand that military recruiters be banned from schools. Like other districts across the country, the school board argues it will lose federal funding under No Child Left Behind if recruiters are denied equal access to students, but YAWR won’t take no for an answer. A board member claims it’s not worth banning military recruiters because under NCLB college recruiters would be banned as well – I wonder how students would react to that claim. How often to college recruiters, who don’t have military recruiters’ $2 billion budget to support them, visit their schools? Do they really help students get into college? And what is the district doing to resist NCLB, if it’s sympathetic to the students’ demands?
For the third time in three months, a rowdy group of students and community members opposed to military recruiting in high schools disrupted a Seattle School Board meeting Wednesday — and promised to keep going back until they believe they have been heard.
At Wednesday’s meeting, they expressed frustration that the board is considering policy changes that would limit — but not ban — military recruiting in Seattle’s public high schools.
The group hopes to persuade board members to adopt a stricter policy and has held rallies and attended district meetings over the past few months in an effort to press the case.
“The School Board needs to take a stand against allowing these aggressive recruiters into our schools,” said Ramy Khalil, one of several who spoke during the public-testimony portion of the meeting.
Speakers’ comments were punctuated with whoops and chants of “Books not bombs!” and “This is what democracy looks like!”
Their activity earned several rebukes from School Board President Cheryl Chow, who warned the unruly audience members that they would be kicked out of the meeting if they didn’t show some respect.
Under the recruiting proposal, colleges, employers and branches of the military would each be allowed two visits per school, per year. The district would compile an annual report on the number of students who opted out of providing information to the military and maintain a Web site that would offer information on school recruitment policies and opt-out forms.
Board member Brita Butler-Wall, who heads the committee recommending the recruiting changes, said she is sympathetic to the students’ stance but worries that it would be needlessly restrictive.
She said she does not believe that “it’s in the best interest of our students to ban all college recruiters from high schools, which would be required if we chose to ban all military recruiters.”…
YAWR’s militancy prompted the Seattle Times to editorialize against them. Note how the Times complains of “activists” and protesters” disrupting school board meetings, hiding the fact that YAWR is a student-led group and it is the students of the district who are making these demands. It’s a powerful thing when students organize for control over the institutions that are supposed to serve them, and the Times doesn’t want to acknowledge that to its readers.
Minnesota YAWR has made a call for a nationwide student walkout, in both high schools and colleges, to protest the war in Iraq and recruiters in schools. The tentative date is set for November 16.
…Various student groups have called national walkouts before, but often these have been called on short notice with little time to prepare a serious mobilization, and with only a few dozen colleges and high schools involved. As a result, the national reach and political impact of past walkouts have been limited. That’s why we want to help jump-start serious dialogue and planning this summer about how we can unite our whole movement behind a well prepared, nationally coordinated, powerful action next fall…
Protestors lay on the floor, which was tinged with fake blood, to represent those killed during war. Protesters shouted, “What do we want? Recruiters out! When do we want it? Now!”
This was the scene Wednesday evening as activists took a stand against military recruitment in public schools at the Seattle School Board meeting.
Students, teachers, parents and other anti-war activists want to restrict military recruiters to a once-a-semester, district-wide recruitment fair.
Sophomore Kayla Hauck, president of the UW’s Socialist Alternative Club, said the event gave students a chance to be involved.
“Even though we are in college it is important to be aware of what’s going on in high schools,” Hauck said, emphasizing issues that affect college students.
Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR), an anti-war activist group, orchestrated the protest.
“Military recruiters give the promise of free education and a good job, which are actually massive lies,” said Philip Locker, an organizer of the protest for YAWR.
The British navy used to use trapdoors in barrooms to capture recruits to maintain its colonial empire. The U.S. military doesn’t need these tricks. It has No Child Left Behind.
Section 9528, the 300 or so words buried within the act’s 670 pages, cement militarism in public schools. This section’s provisions funnel private student data such as telephone numbers and home addresses into the Pentagon for military recruitment purposes and also mandate access for military recruiters to students in public secondary schools.
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have dragged on, recruiters have become increasingly aggressive on campus. Data from student information provided via Section 9528 are used for recruiter home visits and repetitive phone calls to students. Military recruiters also use high-pressure sales techniques, flashy videos, and eye-candy trinkets, and bring he-man danger mobiles such as Hummers and helicopters onto school grounds to attract students, especially young males.
At the beginning of this school year, the Los Angeles-based Coalition Against Militarism In Our Schools (CAMS), a group that I work with, decided to get the word out about Section 9528.
Their school district was one of the last in the nation to resist giving personal student information to military recruiters, until the Pentagon threatened to have the government withhold federal funding of its schools. The government wants militarized schools over funded ones, apparently, and the students aren’t cool with that.
Students at Berkeley High School along with an anti-war group held a press conference near the school Monday opposing the war in Iraq and a federal policy requiring student information to be released to military recruiters.
World Can’t Wait! Drive Out the Bush Regime and several students held the press conference on Milvia Street and Allston Way where a petition was circulated against the war and the No Child Left Behind Act.
“We sign this letter to let the Bush regime, and especially the media, know that Berkeley High School will not accept the terms that hold our future away from our hands and disregard our privacy and personal security, and that we will not be used as tools for an unjust and imperialist war,” the letter, which has been signed by 200-250 students, states.
Under the No Child Left Behind Act passed in 2002, schools are required to release student information to military recruiters. Until last month, Berkeley High School had been the last public high school in the country to withhold the information.
However, the Berkeley Unified School District decided to release the information after receiving a letter threatening to withdraw federal funds.
Instead, Berkeley High School has given students the ability to opt out of having their information passed on.
Organizers said the conference was held not just to educate students about the war and the act, but to openly display their resistance.
“The whole ideology behind the press conference was to show the resistance Berkeley High has against the unjust Bush (administration),” said Daniel Sandoval, former Berkeley High student and an organizer for World Can’t Wait. “It’s a show of resistance against the war.”
The press conference was originally to be held in the high school’s courtyard, but was relocated outside of the school as organizers said they were not allowed to hold the conference at the school.
District Spokesperson Mark Coplan said students, teachers and principals alike cannot call press conferences at the school, as only the district can officially call a conference.
Sandoval said the push toward school systems through the No Child Left Behind Act was a step toward increased government control.
“They’re militarizing our school now,” Sandoval said.
We tried to make this happen here in Austin when we asked for a policy limiting military recruiters. But the district’s legal counsel said that letting students opt-out exclusively from military recruiters would violate the No Child Left Behind Act. Good for them out there in Phoenix.
Kay Grams doesn’t want her 16-year-old daughter’s name going into a military recruitment database.
So last year, when the Tempe mother enrolled her daughter at McClintock High School, she was told she could ask the school to withhold her contact information from a list it gives the armed forces — but with a catch.
“I was told that by selecting that option, her name would also not be included on a list that goes out to colleges, a list for scholarships, even something with the yearbook,” Grams said.
But two weeks ago, the Tempe Union High School District governing board decided to accommodate parents like Grams. It voted unanimously to change a policy and allow teens to just “opt out” of the military contact, but still have their directory information passed on to colleges and universities.