The “No Child Left Behind” Act was a boon for military recruitment, giving the armed services the power to request and get directory-type data on secondary students. Students and parents have the option to opt-out by signing such a form.
Why the elementary school my son attends issued this form is still a mystery to me. (See Monday’s post.) Apparently, the form went to all schools in the district, no matter the level. I’ve since learned that elementary schools don’t release information to military recruiters and recruiters are never in the schools.
But secondary schools are required to comply or jeopardize losing federal funding.
Some Americans have reacted against such efforts. An example is www.leavemychildalone.org. Here’s text from the organization’s home page:
”Did you know
… that the notorious No Child Left Behind Act includes a sneaky section that requires high schools to turn over private information on students to military recruiters?
“And that the Pentagon has created an illegal database of 30 million 16-25 year-olds, including names, addresses, email addresses, cell phone numbers, ethnicities, social security numbers, extracurricular activities, and areas of study?
Yikes. What do we do?
“Any way you look at it, this is a family privacy nightmare, another strong-arming of our local schools, and a creepy warm-up to a possible draft. However, it’s also a great reason to get together and take action.”
The military uses sophisticated data collection tools (data mining, stealth web sites and more) to collect information on millions of young Americans, reports Mother Jones online magazine in an article by David Goodman.
The military can market itself to secondary students just as a company can market a commercial product—with sophisticated market research, targeted outreach, spiffy advertisements, cold calls, and the like.
What do you make of all this? Are secondary students fair game?
Have you—or a family member—been the recipient of the military’s marketing efforts? Tell us about your experiences.
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