Pat Elder sent this out today:
The Maryland Senate narrowly approved a measure today that will prohibit the automatic release of ASVAB test results to military recruiters by public schools. The vote was 24-23.
Opponents charged the bill was unpatriotic and anti-military, particularly in a "time of war." Currently, thousands of Maryland high school students are tested by the Pentagon during school hours without parental knowledge or consent. The Maryland House of Delegates passed the same measure 102-37. Governor O’Malley is expected to sign the bill into law. Maryland could become the first state to challenge military testing in the public schools. Last year, the California Assembly passed a similar measure but it was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.
Today is another Blog Action Day over at Green Change. The theme for today is War and Peace. This is a timely connection to the 7th anniversary of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by Coalition Forces and the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have chosen to focus my war and peace report on military recruiting in schools. The militarization of our youth is big business and it starts in our public schools.
To begin, here is a 2007 video made by Working Assets and Mainstreet Moms called Leave My Child Alone.
I first learned about the clause in the No Child Left Behind Act (incarnation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) about giving student information to recruiters when my son was still in high school. I wrote this piece on Chlorophyll back in 2006:
No Child Left Unrecruited
Many folks may not be aware that there is a tiny clause buried in the "No Child Left Behind" Act (NCLB) that requires schools to give military recruiters access to high school student records upon request…..or face losing funding. Here is the section in the NCLB:
This morning I spoke with Emily, my 16-year-old daughter who lives in Maryland. She told me this story:
A man came in to the fast food restaurant where she works and ordered his meal. He initiated a conversation with Emily and found out that she wants to be a cosmetologist. Telling her about his “wife’s business” in cosmetics he told Emily that he might be able to get her a job with his wife, so he got Emily to give him her phone number.
Ever since then, she has been called daily by this man, identifying himself as a recruiter from the Army recruiting office in her area. She does not answer her phone, instead allowing the recruiter to leave her his message.
Needless to say, my jaw dropped to the floor as she told me this. I have effectively instilled in my children the merits of becoming conscientious objectors and the alternatives to war to promote peace and justice. This includes educating them on the deceptive tactics that military recruiters use to get young people to enlist.
Emily has been instructed to write down the number the next time this person calls and to forward it to me.
The recruiter will be very sorry he is calling her when he hears from me.