Students Speak Out on Military Recruitment

Under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation, all public schools are required to send the names and contact information of juniors and seniors to the military, unless the student or legal guardian have submitted an opt-out form to be taken off the list. Almost eight years after NCLB went into effect, most parents and students are still unaware that their private information is being sent to the military. When students find out-and peer to peer education is one of the most effective ways to spread the word-they opt out.

The article below, written by Nottingham High School sophomore Molly Naef for her journalism class, will be published in the Nottingham school paper, Common Ground (the original article is also accompanied by side bars on the GI Bill and alternative sources of college financing). Other students in the class were invited to submit letters to the editor responding to Molly's question: "How do you feel about the military recruiting in school." The overwhelming message from those letters is that while students may be divided on whether recruiters should be in the school, most students are completely unaware and outraged that their private contact information is supplied to military recruiters by the school district. They clamored for the opportunity to opt-out.

Once a month, SPC activists and students try to staff tables in each of the city high schools to provide opt-out forms and information on military recruitment, war and alternatives for a nonviolent future. Unfortunately, we don't have enough people to meet all of our tabling opportunities. It's crucial that the peace movement support student activists and provide youth with accurate information regarding the military. See details on SPC's youth and militarism work on page 4 to get involved.

- Jessica Maxwell