Attention Parents and Students • 07.16.05
ATTENTION: Students in high school and middle school and their parents: You’re probably aware that the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires regular achievement tests to make sure that your education is progressing according to federal standards. But what you may not know is that Section 9528 of NCLB requires school administrators to give the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all high school juniors and seniors to U.S. military recruiters.
As of this writing, nearly 2,000 American soldiers have died in the Iraq war and thousands more have been wounded and maimed; tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed. American officials admit that this war will probably go on for years. Recruitment quotas aren’t being met, though the military needs to sign up thousands of new soldiers every month. The shortage of troops is currently so severe that soldiers are not released when their tours of duty are over, and the military has been issuing “stop loss” orders to keep them in Iraq. The government has been increasing its rec ruitment efforts in schools, pulling out all the stops by promising financial aid for college, cash bonuses, and job placements, while downplaying the conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the blatant lies the President used to start the war.
Section 9528 of NCLB requires the reporting of children’s personal information to military recruiters in order to continue prosecuting this unjust and illegal war. Once this personal information is turned over, recruiters will pursue students rele ntlessly, at school and at home, calling at all hours, disrupting studentsÃ¯Â¿Â½ personal and academic lives, and making incredible promises. Some have threatened potential recruits with arrest for declining to sign up.
But you can legally opt out of having your personal information given to military recruiters! Section 9528 of NCLB allow s students over 18 and parents of students under 18 to sign an Opt Out form that prevents your school from releasing your personal information. This form must be signed at the beginning of each school year when academic enrollment information is finalized at each school, and before it is released to the government. WeÃ¯Â¿Â½re alerting parents of middle school students about the Opt Out forms because the war is expected to go on for years, and children who are now in middle school will soon be eligible for recruitment.
The Green Party of Philadelphia, in cooperation with other local peace and anti-war groups, w ill station people outside each Philadelphia high school this fall with Opt Out forms for students to sign themselves or to take home to their parents. The Green Party of Philadelphia supports our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan by calling for their immediate return home. The President canÃ¯Â¿Â½t continue this war if you donÃ¯Â¿Â½t sign up to go fight it. Rec ruitment numbers are down because the American people realize that this war is morally wrong and was founded on lies. The trillions of dollars being spent on the war should be spent on true welfare reform, a real minimum wage, healthcare for all Americans, and public transit.
See www.gpop.org for more information or call (215)243- 7103 to become involved in GPOPÃ¯Â¿Â½s anti-recruitment effo rts. We need volunteers at high school doors in September (handing out the Opt O ut forms is legally protected free speech). Or call us for your Opt Out form and we will mail you one.