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:
More to come, but here’s a taste:
2009 Event Photos
THE AMAZING PEACE TREE
UTAH PEACE JAM
ART WORK CREATED BY SCHOOL CHILDREN AND DISPLAYED BY ROOTS AND SHOOTS
Also view 2009 photos and videos at:
Full adult privileges are not afforded to U.S. youth until age 21, yet youth in the U.S. are recruited for the military as early as middle school. Aside from the issue of marketing the military to ANYONE, there’s something wrong with this picture of youth recruiting. Democracy Now! aired a segment yesterday on military recruiting in California.
Last November, residents of Eureka and Arcata passed a ballot initiative known as the Youth Protection Act that bars the US government from trying to enlist youths under the age of eighteen in any branch of the US armed forces. But just days after the laws went into effect, the Justice Department filed a suit seeking to overturn them. The Justice Departments civil action says the initiatives are invalid because they conflict with federal law. Both towns are refusing to cave. Theyve hired lawyers and filed counter-claims challenging the federal governments action.