Passing Opt-Out Legislation
The following brief provides details on introducing a bill in Maine to address the military recruiter “opt-out” section of the Every Student Succeeds Act, S. 1177. The materials below generally apply to all states.
Please read through the relevant sections of the federal and Maine state laws below.
Maryland is the only state that requires parents to fill out a form asking if they consent to the release of their child’s information to military recruiters. Maryland places the opt-out language on the mandatory emergency contact form.
Maryland’s Law (the ASVAB law is also in this section)
Maryland’s Law in Practice - showing opt-out language at the top right of the Montgomery County Public School’s Emergency Contact Form:
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, (FERPA) says schools must have written permission from a parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. There is no exception for the military in the FERPA law.
The way it typically works is that each year, during the first week of school, parents receive materials regarding their child’s upcoming academic year. At Portland HS there’s a notice on page 50 of the School Family Handbook.
Portland High School Family Handbook 2018-2019
See Page 50 - Military Recruiters/Institutions of Higher Education
“Military recruiters and institutions of higher education are entitled to receive the names, addresses and telephone numbers of secondary students and the School Department must comply with any such request, provided that parents have been notified of their right to request that this information not be released without the prior written consent. Parents/eligible students who do not want the School Department to disclose this information without their prior consent must complete the Military Recruiter/PostSecondary Institution Access to Student Information Form provided by their child’s high school by September 15th or within two weeks of enrollment, whichever is later. Parents/eligible students may submit the form at any time during the year, but it cannot be retroactive.”
Here’s the form: https://www.portlandschools.org/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=7044980
It says, “If you do not want this information to be released without your prior written consent, please check the appropriate line(s), sign the form and return it to your child’s high school office by September 15th (or within two weeks of enrollment, if later in the year). Parents/legal guardians may submit the form at any time during the year, but it cannot be retroactive.”
It’s somewhat confusing, with a double negative tossed in there for good measure. How, exactly, does this form make it home? Notice the form says parents should complete it by September 15th, but they may submit the form any time of the year, although it cannot be retroactive. School authorities include that line because the Military Entrance Processing Command is eager to receive the data to begin their recruiting for the academic year.
(BTW, this Portland school site lists the mandatory forms that are available on the web portal. The list includes a “Health Information Form.”) https://phs.portlandschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_1099078/File/Cathie%20Martin/Letter%20to%20all%20parents%20for%20completing%20forms%20on%20line.pdf )
The whole point here is that the FERPA law says schools can’t release info on students without parental consent. Meanwhile, Section 8025 of ESSA comes along and creates a situation where the process of parental consent is muddled. The law is weak. Actually, the law is unconstitutional, violating the 4th amendment’s privacy protection against an unreasonable seizure.
It says, “A single notice provided through a mailing, student handbook, or method is sufficient.” Consequently, most parents across the country aren't aware – of anything - and the military collects their child’s directory information. Most schools do a lousy job informing parents of the right to opt out. Many school systems have a single “opt-out” form that is online or part of a student handbook.”
Portland High School is a little better than most because it has created a form – in addition to the mention in the handbook - and somehow makes it available to parents, but many fall between the cracks.
Here are the pertinent laws regarding the opt-out issue
US Department of Education
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records.
“Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student's education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
Federal Military Recruiter “Opt-Out” Law
S.1177 - Every Student Succeeds Act
(Search - Ctrl F - 8025)
SEC. 8025. ARMED FORCES RECRUITER ACCESS TO STUDENTS AND STUDENT RECRUITING INFORMATION.
Section 8528, <<NOTE: 20 USC 7908.>> as redesignated by section 8001
of this Act, is amended by striking subsections (a) through (d) and
inserting the following:
``(1) Access to student recruiting information.--
Notwithstanding section 444(a)(5)(B) of the General Education
Provisions Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g(a)(5)(B)), each local
educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall
provide, upon a request made by a military recruiter or an
institution of higher education, access to the name, address,
and telephone listing of each secondary school student served by
the local educational agency, unless the parent of such student
has submitted the prior consent request under paragraph (2).
[[Page 129 STAT. 2115]]
(A) Opt-out process.--A parent of a secondary
school student may submit a written request, to the
local educational agency, that the student's name,
address, and telephone listing not be released for
purposes of paragraph (1) without prior written consent
of the parent. Upon receiving such request, the local
educational agency may not release the student's name,
address, and telephone listing for such purposes without
the prior written consent of the parent.
(B) Notification of opt-out process.--Each local
educational agency shall notify the parents of the
students served by the agency of the option to make a
request described in subparagraph (A).
(3) Same access to students.--Each local educational
agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide
military recruiters the same access to secondary school students
as is provided to institutions of higher education or to
prospective employers of those students.
(4) Rule of construction prohibiting opt-in processes.--
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to allow a local
educational agency to withhold access to a student's name,
address, and telephone listing from a military recruiter or
institution of higher education by implementing an opt-in
process or any other process other than the written consent
request process under paragraph (2)(A).
(5) Parental consent.--For purposes of this subsection,
whenever a student has attained 18 years of age, the permission
or consent required of and the rights accorded to the parents of
the student shall only be required of and accorded to the
(b) Notification.--The Secretary, in consultation with the
Secretary of Defense, shall, not later than 120 days after the date of
the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act, notify school leaders,
school administrators, and other educators about the requirements of
(c) Exception.--The requirements of this section do not apply to a
private secondary school that maintains a religious objection to service
in the Armed Forces if the objection is verifiable through the corporate
or other organizational documents or materials of that school.''.
Maine Revised Statutes
Title 20-A: EDUCATION
Part 3: ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
Chapter 221: SCHOOL RECORDS, AUDITS AND REPORTS
Subchapter 1: STUDENT RECORDS
“§6001. Dissemination of information
1. Federal and state law. The provisions of this section, the United States Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, Public Law 93-380, as amended by Public Law 93-568, and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 United States Code, Section 1400 et seq., as amended, govern the dissemination of education records and personally identifiable information about students in public schools, private schools approved by the department pursuant to chapter 117 and private schools recognized by the department as providing equivalent instruction pursuant to section 5001-A, subsection 3, paragraph A, subparagraph (1), division (b), as well as written notices of intent to provide equivalent instruction through home instruction and all education records of students receiving equivalent instruction through home instruction.
[ 2015, c. 97, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Internet restrictions. A public school may not publish on the Internet or provide for publication on the Internet any personal information about its students without first obtaining the written approval of those students' parents. For the purpose of this section, "personal information" means information that identifies a student, including, but not limited to, the student's full name, photograph, personal biography, e-mail address, home address, date of birth, social security number and parents' names.
[ 1999, c. 595, §2 (NEW) .]
3. Dissemination of education records to criminal justice agencies. A school may disseminate education records as defined in 20 United States Code, Section 1232 g(a)(4) regarding a juvenile if:
A. The juvenile has not been adjudicated as having committed a juvenile crime; [1999, c. 595, §2 (NEW).]
B. The education records are disseminated to:
(1) Criminal justice agencies; or
(2) Agencies that by court order or agreement of the juvenile are responsible for the health or welfare of the juvenile and that have provided the school with a statement describing the purpose of the dissemination; and [1999, c. 595, §2 (NEW).]
C. The education records are relevant to and disseminated for the purpose of creating or maintaining an individualized plan for the juvenile's rehabilitation. [1999, c. 595, §2 (NEW).]
Education records received under this subsection are confidential and may not be further disseminated, except to the court or as otherwise provided by law. The persons to whom the education records are disseminated shall certify in writing to the school that the records will not be disclosed to any other party, except the court or as otherwise provided by law, without the written consent of the juvenile or the juvenile's parent or guardian.”
All threatening emails will be forwarded to the Maryland Attorney General's Office for investigation.
Students at the Leadership Academy for Young Men in
Rochester, NY are like mops that attract lead contaminants
This video of the rifle range in Rochester's Leadership Academy for Young Men shows children are in danger. More
JROTC Shooting Programs are Dangerous to the Health and Safety of American School Children
This 25-page report documents the danger of lead contamination associated with the military’s JROTC marksmanship program in high schools across the country. The research examines the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) and its regulation and enforcement of lead safety standards.
According to data provided by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), a proxy of the NRA, there are 1,871 military shooting programs in American High Schools.
See the data here
JROTC Marksmanship Teams
National Guard Armories
Contaminated with Lead
Children who participate in JROTC Marksmanship Programs often come into regular contact with deadly lead contaminants while shooting in America's poorly managed National Guard Armories.
See the database here.
Campaign: Shut Down High School Marksmanship Programs!
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS, where Nik Cruz attended, practice in the school's shooting range.
We have an opportunity to put an end to military high school marksmanship programs and firing ranges. We will have activists send thousands of emails to state legislators, calling on them to support legislation to ban high school shooting programs.
Please sign the petition to shut down firing ranges in American high schools! Your message will be sent to your state legislators. We must get people to connect the dots between gun violence and militarism.
Here’s some background.
The Army taught Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz how to shoot a lethal weapon in his high school cafeteria when he was 14. Nik was a member of the school’s JROTC program.
Militarism is a contributing cause of gun violence in America. Nearly 2,000 high schools offer marksmanship programs to students enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officers' Corps (JROTC) program. These shooting programs don’t belong in our schools! JROTC courses, which often substitute for core curriculum subjects, are taught by retired soldiers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines who often do not have college credentials.
We will stop this!
Wars start in high school cafeterias where military recruiters forge relationships with kids during lunch! After lunch the same cafeterias are often transformed into shooting ranges and the numbers are growing exponentially. The marksmanship programs typically use CO2-powered long rifles that shoot .177 caliber lead pellets at speeds up to 600 feet per second.
Please send the petition. We’re going to shut down these shooting programs and high school firing ranges across the country.
Countering militarism in our schools has always been a strategic blind spot for the anti-war movement. The idea of weapons practice in the schools is despicable and represents the lowest lying fruit for our picking.
Our goal within two years is for activists in a half-dozen states to succeed in having their state representatives introduce legislation to ban military marksmanship programs in the high schools. We can do this.
We’ll participate in an online campaign that will encourage activists to send the petition and to follow it up in a week with a separate email to their legislators. After another week, if activists have not received a response from their local lawmakers, they will be encouraged to call their representatives, using our talking points.
We will promote the Shut Down High School Marksmanship Program campaign with frequent stories in the progressive media and an accompanying robust letter-writing campaign directed at editors of local and statewide news outlets. These letters should be “open letters” to the regional Recruiting Battalion Commander and the local Military Entrance Processing Station Commander
The letters should not be political. Activists will be asked to stick to the script, ”Get the guns out of the schools, now!”
This campaign will not concentrate on the removal of all military programs from the high schools. Too many of our allies in the counter-recruitment movement feel that calling for the removal of all JROTC programs from the schools would be counter-productive.
We can expect furious opposition from the NRA, the CMP, and the U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command. Bring it on. We believe we have the American public on our side.
More on high school firing ranges
GI Nick Cruz
Propaganda from CACI: What single High School activity today is responsible for dramatically changing the lives of so many? Where are HS students learning valuable lessons in leadership, integrity, honesty, commitment, citizenship, and respect? And where are instructors using dynamic methods of teaching, focusing on the way students learn and applying those skills in and out of the classroom? The answer?
SkoolLive - An interactive digital invasion of our high schools by corporations and the military.
For years DOD recruiting commanders have attempted to circumvent student privacy protections that are designed to shield minors from the wholesale transfer of student information from the nation’s high schools to the Pentagon’s Military Entrance Processing Command.
The DOD markets “career opportunities” through the schools, relying on a variety of methods, from Channel One, a 12-minute, highly commercialized, daily TV program that reaches as many as 5 million children a day, to various posters and announcements touting military service or other schemes like the Career Exploration Program. For the most part, however, these outreach efforts ultimately rely on the schools as a third party from which to extract student data. Until now, the DOD’s quest for greater access to children has been somewhat stymied by pesky state and federal laws that regulate the flow of student information from the schools.
Imagine then, the Pentagon’s keen interest in a plan by upstart SkoolLive LLC of Fallbrook, CA to install thousands of giant 6-foot i-phones with flashing, screaming, streaming interactive screens in thousands of high school hallways across the country. These life-size digital kiosks allow kids to directly upload their personal information without having to deal with school policies or state and federal laws!
The company has agreements with more than 2,000 schools in 27 states and intends to triple that number, according to press reports.
According to SkoolLive, school officials allow the free installation of these devices because they are convinced the gadgets “enrich a student’s school experience by replacing mundane printed posters with high quality digital ads that require less space, reduce visual clutter, move schools into the digital age, and saves tons of time, money and trees.” http://www.skoollive.com/#!about-us/mainPage
But these officials may not be seeing the entire picture.
From the screen of the SkoolLive website directed toward potential advertisers, "The SkoolLive Kiosk screens are touch sensitive. The feature allows the company to offer “interactive” ads. With this interactive feature, advertisers are able to conduct student surveys, determine product preferences, enter contests, send text messages containing promo codes, discount coupons, etc. Our proprietary software captures and analyzes this valuable data, providing advertisers the analytics and feedback necessary to effectively measure audience acceptance as well as the effectiveness of their ad."
The placement of these SkoolLive kiosks may, however, circumvent The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Generally, the law states that schools may disclose information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, etc., but the schools are required to allow parents to request that the school not disclose information about children. Many state laws go even further in protecting student rights. By allowing the placement of these giant interactive kiosks, schools, in essence, may be allowing the transfer of student information without providing for parental consent.
Additionally, SkoolLive’s interactive hallway contraptions may be violating Section 8025 of the Every Student Succeeds Act, (ESSA) https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1177/text
Complaint filed with EPA over alleged safety violations concerning school firing range in Flint, Michigan
On January 25, 2016, the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy filed a complaint with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) against the Northwestern High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program operating in Flint, Michigan. The complaint alleges that the high school fails to protect the health and safety of students as evidenced by the photo shown here. The EPA has dismissed the complaint. More
Invite us to your town to help you pass laws to protect student privacy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Legislation in Maine
The ASVAB is the military’s 3-hour enlistment exam. About 700,000 students in 12,000 high schools take the ASVAB across the country every year. In Maine, 3,587 took the test in 91 high schools during the 2015-2016 school year.
Military regulations say the primary purpose of the ASVAB “Career Exploration Program” is to find leads for recruiters. See Page 6 of the Military Recruiter Handbook Meanwhile, the program is marketed by the military as a free public service to help children decide on civilian career paths.
The ASVAB provides coveted information the Pentagon cannot purchase or find on social media regarding the cognitive abilities of youth. The US Military Entrance Command has virtual recruiting battalions that collect information on America’s children. They know, for instance, that Johnny loves to spend time fishing on the lake at the camp, that he drives a 12-year-old Ford pick-up, that he can bench press 140 and that his girl friend doesn’t want him to join. However, the recruiting command doesn’t know how smart Johnny is. That’s because they’re blocked by FERPA from accessing educational records, and that’s where the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Career Exploration Program comes in.
ASVAB test results may be used for enlistment purposes for up to two years, meaning that high school juniors and seniors may use their passing results to enlist. A student only needs to score a 31 on the ASVAB to join the Army. A 31 is comparable to an 8th grade level. Some states, like New Jersey, allow students to substitute the ASVAB for mandatory exit exams and will award a diploma if a student scores a 31.
It should be noted that the military is slowly chipping away at state laws across the country to mandate the test or include it as a mandatory career-placement assessment. The military is also working with state legislatures to provide access to all academic records during a student’s entire academic career, as they have done in Kentucky.
The military proctors the test with the assistance of school staff. If the schools gave the ASVAB, the results would be deemed to be educational records and thus, subject to FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the federal law that calls for parental consent before information on children is released to third parties. Unless you live in Maryland, Hawaii, and New Hampshire, ASVAB results are the only student information leaving your state's classrooms without allowing for parental consent.
Students in more than a thousand high schools across the country were required to take the ASVAB while others were encouraged to do so during the 2015-16 academic year. The results obtained by us through FOIA requests show that Maine does not require students to take the test, although students are encouraged to take it.
The data reported by the Pentagon http://www.studentprivacy.org/maine.html is questionable, however. For instance, Calais High School is reported to have tested 45 Juniors. The total enrollment of the school district for grades 7 through 12 is 282, which comes to an average of 47 children per grade. Did all of the juniors at Calais volunteer to take the exam? That’s the military’s claim.
The Maine Department of Education is not telling the entire truth regarding the purpose of the test. It also fails to address privacy concerns regarding the release of student information without parental knowledge or consent. https://mainedoenews.net/2012/07/23/asvab-career-test/
To prevent testing information from reaching recruiters, schools must tell the military before the test that ASVAB Release Option 8 must be used for all students.
Release Option 8 means the military can’t use the results for recruiting purposes. Schools select release options, not parents. 20% of the students who take the ASVAB in high schools across the country had Option 8 selected by their schools. Less than 1% of the students in Maine (28 of the 3,587) who took the ASVAB had Option 8 selected. Maine is the worst state in the country in this regard.
Maryland, Hawaii, and New Hampshire have laws mandating Option 8 while 2,000 additional high schools have selected Release Option 8 on their own.
See Section 3-2 – Recruiter Release Options, from this convoluted military document, USMEPCOM 601-4.
See the ASVAB Counselors Guide – Page 14 for the military’s view on student privacy. The recruiting command argues that FERPA does not apply because the exam is proctored by the military, and therefore, it cannot be deemed to be an" educational record" described by FERPA. In a sense, we have a temporary military takeover of the schools when the ASVAB is administered.
The ASVAB Answer Sheet represents a clear violation of Maine’s privacy laws. Here, the military requires under-aged students sign a privacy release form. http://www.studentprivacy.org/uploads/1/0/3/6/10362012/asvab_answer_sheet_july_2014.pdf
Here we have a MEPS-supplied school form that omits Options 7 and 8.
The ASVAB collects social security numbers, a practice prohibited by many state laws, including Maine:
Maine - §6001-C. Student social security numbers; collection and deletion
1. Collection of social security number. If a school administrative unit, a public school within a school administrative unit or a private school requests a student's social security number, the unit or school shall inform the parent or legal guardian of that student or the student if the student is 18 years of age or older for what purpose the social security number will be used and provide the parent, legal guardian or student if the student is 18 years of age or older the opportunity to opt out of providing the social security number.
[ 2017, c. 247, §1 (NEW) .]
2. Deletion of social security number. A school administrative unit, a public school within a school administrative unit or a private school that collects a student's social security number shall delete the student's social security number from the student's records once the student is no longer enrolled in the school administrative unit, the public school within a school administrative unit or private school.
Testimony from Maryland
Testimony of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland in Maryland's General Assembly, March 17, 2010
ACLU MD Testimony.pdf
Testimony of the Maryland PTA in Maryland's General Assembly, March 3, 2010
Testimony of the NAACP Maryland State Conference in Maryland's General Assembly, March 3, 2010
NAACP MD Testimony.pdf
Letter of Christopher Beveridge, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army, Commanding Officer, Baltimore Military Entrance Processing Station, April 7, 2010
Lt. Col. Beveridge writes to oppose the legislation. His position is contrary to that of the MD PTA, which argues that student information should be controlled by parents. By opposing the measure, Lt. Col. Beveridge is arguing that student information should be controlled by the Pentagon.
Lt. Col Beveridge's Letter in Opposition.pdf
Legal brief by National Lawyers Guild lays out arguments that the administration of the ASVAB violates the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, and state statutes.
"By not selecting Option 8 when it administers the ASVAB, the School District is violating not only
statutory rights, it is also violating constitutional rights."
L.A. Chapter, 2005
Best Practices for ASVAB-CEP Administration
This report from Rutgers Law School makes a compelling case that high school counselors have both legal and professional responsibilities to ensure that student test information is not automatically released to military recruiters. DOWNLOAD PDF
Military Whitewash Campaign Kills Student Privacy Bill in Connecticut
A bill that would have protected the privacy of Connecticut's
schoolchildren was defeated in May largely due to a misinformation campaign by the military recruiting command.
Find JROTC Programs
with firing ranges
in a high school near you
According to data provided by the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP), a proxy of the NRA, there are 1,871 military shooting programs in American high schools.
See the data here
How JROTC Shooting Programs Contaminate Our High Schools with Lead.
JROTC Marksmanship Teams Shoot in Filthy Commercial Ranges Contaminated with Lead
Children as young as eight years-old who participate in JROTC, Boy Scouts, Young Marines, and 4-H Clubs, may come into regular contact with deadly lead contaminants while shooting in America's largely unregulated firing ranges. See the database.
How to Ban Marksmanship Programs in High School Districts
(Adapted from NNOMY’s Guide to Banning School Marksmanship Training)
Military Recruiting in the United States, a book by Pat Elder, provides a penetrating description of the deceptive practices of the U.S. military as it recruits American youth into the armed forces. The book describes how recruiters manage to convince youth to enlist. It details a sophisticated psy-ops campaign directed at children.
Elder describes how the military encourages first-person shooter games and places firearms into the hands of thousands using the schools, its JROTC programs, and the Civilian Marksmanship Program to inculcate youth with a reverence for guns. The book reveals how indoor shooting ranges in schools are threatening the health of children and school staff through exposure to lead particulate matter.
The book examines the disturbing, nurturing role of the Catholic Church in recruiting youth. It surveys the wholesale military censorship of Hollywood films, pervasive military testing in the high schools, and an explosion of military programs directed toward youth.
Click to Order at no-profit cost of $8
… or email email@example.com and we'll send the pdf at no charge.
The Military Turns to
YouTube for Recruiting
Like President Trump who regularly tweets messages to his audience, the Army's Recruiting Command has an "alternative" channel to communicate with potential recruits. Enter Archie Masibay, SGT,US Army.
SGT Masibay, AKA Archiezzle, burst upon the world of video recruiting in early 2016, part of a virtual platoon of soldiers in the recruiting command. The Staff Sergeant turned recruiter has produced 430 videos on YouTube with 18 million views and 37,000 subscribers.
Are the sergeant's frequent explanations of recruiting policy to be regarded as official pronouncements? For instance, the news that the Army will now be accepting soldiers who score a 21 on the ASVAB enlistment test is a radical departure from the past that is sure to send shock waves throughout the Army and American society. Is this for real? More
Pentagon Recruiting Playbook Revealed
By Pat Elder
July 15, 2017
Ominous developments in three states this summer - Oregon, Texas, New Jersey, and one city - Chicago, provide a glimpse into the Pentagon’s new playbook to recruit soldiers from high schools across the country. In brief, the military has been engaged in a robust lobbying campaign to lower academic standards to make it easier to recruit youth.
New recruits have long been required to hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate. This requirement is a major impediment to finding enough soldiers to meet annual targets, but even when struggling students barely manage to graduate, the Pentagon has developed a plan to marshal more of them into the military.
The Oregon Department of Education recently endorsed the Oregon National Guard’s Credit Proficiency Program for use in high schools across the state. The program gives juniors and seniors the chance to earn academic credits while training for military service at Oregon National Guard facilities. The program is expected to cut the state’s drop-out rate while increasing the on-time graduation rate. In 2015 Oregon’s 74.8% graduation rate was the third lowest in the country.
Under the program, if a senior in high school realizes a few weeks before graduation that he doesn’t have enough credits to graduate, he could enlist, go to Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT), and those pesky graduation requirements are satisfied. Some are even allowed to walk with their graduating class.
Juniors may enlist in a split training program by attending Basic Training for 11 weeks in the summer to earn high school credits, returning to school as a senior, graduating, and then attending AIT.
Press reports announcing the Oregon Department of Education’s endorsement of the military program have repeated the blatant lie that “some school systems have taken a stance against allowing military recruiters to be active on their campuses.” There is no record of a single public high school in Oregon that forbids military recruiters. To do so would jeopardize federal funding.
In New Jersey, where students must pass senior year exit exams to graduate, school officials will allow seniors to earn a diploma if they can manage a score of a 31 on the military’s enlistment test, the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB. A 31 on the ASVAB is the lowest score the Army will allow. It is equivalent to an 8th-grade mastery of English and Math.
DOD regulations say recruits must be high school graduates or GED-holders.
“Join the army, if you fail!”
“Join the Army;
we’ll make sure you pass,
‘Cause that’s the way
we’ll get your _ss.”
Military planners have long complained that too many high school dropouts were precluded from becoming soldiers. There were 8,000 high school drop outs in New Jersey alone in 2016. Meanwhile, New Jersey has an 89% on-time graduation rate. Allowing students to score a 31 on the ASVAB may be expected to help with drop out and graduation rates while significantly lowering standards.
Nationally, the “status dropout rate” stood at 5.9 percent in 2015. The "status dropout rate" is the percentage of 16-to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in school and have not earned a high school credential (either a diploma or a GED). This group is of keen interest to the recruiting command. Relaxing high school graduation standards will help to ease the current crisis in recruiting. This is part of the Pentagon’s game plan in all fifty states.
The Texas Legislature recently passed a law, SB 1843, that requires all high schools in Texas to offer the ASVAB Career Exploration Program, “or a similar vocational aptitude test.” The Army’s recruiting commander in Dallas led the successful lobbying campaign. The alternative aptitude test “must assess aptitude for success without college, be free to administer, require minimal support and training from school faculty, and provide a professional interpretation of the results.” The ASVAB is the only instrument that meets the bill. Soon, nearly all high school students in Texas will be required to take the military’s 3-hour enlistment test.
Recruiters receive ASVAB scores, social security numbers, and detailed demographic information through the administration of the test. At first blush, however, it appears that if the ASVAB becomes an officially mandated testing requirement, “It would mean that the military would be acting as an agent for the school and would thus have to comply with laws protecting pupil privacy (e.g., provisions of FERPA and NCLB/ESEA),” explained Rick Jahnkow of Project YANO in San Diego. The ASVAB Career Exploration Program, therefore, could only be administered as a graduation requirement if it is given under ASVAB Release Option 8, meaning that results cannot be provided to recruitment services. Otherwise, parents would have to give written permission to release the test data to recruiters.
ASVAB results are currently the only student information leaving American schools without first providing for parental consent. Meanwhile, The Pentagon refuses to sign on to the Student Privacy Pledge, an effort to safeguard student privacy regarding the collection, maintenance, and use of student personal information.
Another Texas law, SB 1152 allows high school students to receive up to four excused absences from school when pursuing enlistment in any branch of the armed services and it provides for an additional opportunity to take the ASVAB at Military Entrance Processing Stations.
Chicago Public Schools, the third largest school system in the country with nearly 400,000 students, will withhold high school diplomas unless students have a job, college, or military plans lined up. The program, Learn. Plan. Succeed will require students to meet at least one of the following requirements in addition to regular credit requirements, to graduate:
The United States Military Entrance Processing Command is having trouble finding enough recruits so they’ve turned to working with legislators and school officials to approve laws and policies that’ll make it easier to find new soldiers.
Oregon will allow those who cannot graduate to complete coursework through military service. New Jersey will allow kids with abysmal academic records to graduate if they can pass a military exam that requires them to have an 8th-grade education. Texas kids will have to take the military’s enlistment test and they’ll get four excused absences for exploring military careers. In Chicago, even if students meet the academic requirements to graduate, a program requiring additional hoops is likely to funnel large numbers to recruiters.
It’s time for a national discussion on military recruitment, something not likely to happen while the media moguls continue to ignore this important story.
"Look out kid; you're gonna get hit."
"School officials encourage students to take the test under the belief that the
purpose of the ASVAB is to assist students in exploring their various career options. We do not object to the administration of the ASVAB test; however, the distribution of the
enormous amount of data collected on the ASVAB to military recruiters is a serious infringement on the privacy rights of those students." More
"By not selecting Option 8 when it administers the ASVAB, the School District is violating not only
statutory rights, it is also violating constitutional rights."
L.A. Chapter, 2005.
Remember the 4th Amendment!
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
An illegal search occurs when an expectation of privacy that society considers reasonable is infringed by a governmental employee or by an agent of the government. More
Child Soldiers International is concerned by a range of American recruitment policies and practices that undermine the safeguards contained in article 3.3 of OPAC, in particular with regards to the voluntary nature of underage recruitment, the right to privacy of children and the requirement of prior consent of parents (or legal guardians). Child Soldiers International is also concerned by the extensive access to schools and students’ information by the US military, which suggests that the US government is pursuing the active recruitment of under-18s.
See discussion beginning on Page 10. More
Is ASVAB useful in predicting
success in college - or not?
The official ASVAB website says the test does a poor job as a predictor of success for students who desire to go to college. The DOD site admits that the ASVAB is an improper substitute for the ACT or SAT because "the ASVAB is designed to predict success in the military.”
From the website: "Why can’t I use my ACT or SAT score to enter the military? "The ASVAB is designed for a different purpose than the ACT and SAT. The ASVAB is designed to predict success in the military, while the ACT and SAT are designed to predict success in college. As a result, the content of the ASVAB is different from the content of the ACT and SAT, and different examinee populations take the ASVAB and ACT and SAT tests. Therefore, performance on the ACT or SAT is not necessarily a very good substitute for performance on the ASVAB, or vice versa."
In contrast to the above, examine this snippet fed to schools to promote the ASVAB to students, "Whether you’re planning on college, a technical school, or you’re just not sure yet, the ASVAB Career Exploration Program can provide you with important information about your skills, abilities and interests – and help put you on the right course for a satisfying career. See your counselor for more information."
Outgoing Recruiting Commander Admits ASVAB is Losing Popularity in the Nation's Schools
In one of his last public comments regarding ASVAB testing, departing US Army Recruiting Commander Maj. Gen. Allen Batschelet admitted the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is losing its popularity in the nation’s high schools. “We’re seeing an increasing trend with schools shutting us out from access or making access pretty restricted,” Batschelet said. “Schools are either choosing to not administer the ASVAB or withholding results from recruiters.”
“There are unintended consequences, Batschelet explained, “because we think it is indirectly sending the signal that service to country in the military is not an honorable profession or something to which you should aspire.”
Batschelet is drawing the wrong conclusions to explain the test’s unpopularity.
Sorry, general. It’s the privacy! School officials are discerning the malfeasance of the ASVAB testing program and parents feel they should be entitled to make decisions regarding the release of their children’s personal information, rather than the recruiting command!
Why work against military recruiting?
The Department of Defense is in desperate need of reform. There’s just not a lot of truly visionary thinking going on between those shaved temples in the minds of the men who run the recruiting command. American society has undergone revolutionary change in the last generation but the Pentagon is very, very slow to catch on and they’re deservedly suffering the consequence for their reactionary stances on the most pressing issues they face. They talk the talk but little changes.
The tide is turning and the recruiting command is seriously feeling the pinch. As long as the US Military Entrance Processing Command sees us and others who seek reform as threats and enemies of the state, there's little chance despicable conditions in the chain of command will improve. We are their brothers and sisters and we also love this country, although we view things very differently...
Consider the startling statistic that there have been more than 20,000 deserters in the Army alone during the period from 2006 to 2014. Desertion is so common the military often looks the other way. The Army has pursued just 1,900 cases of desertion since 2001, and most of these prosecutions have resulted in little more than a slap on the wrist.
Desertions are just one manifestation of a dysfunctional American military. The overwhelming majority of Americans who are ripe for military service aren’t interested or don’t qualify. The recruiting command is experiencing its greatest crisis since the end of the draft in 1973, although most Americans are oblivious.
The military's marketing pitch sounds pretty enticing but 15 percent of all enlistees don't make it through initial-entry training, and another 25 percent leave during their first permanent duty assignment in the operational Army. The means 40% of all Army enlistees never complete their first term. (2) The U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command is headed for a calamity on many fronts. More.
New Hampshire Passes
The American Public Health Association calls for cessation of ASVAB testing for recruiting purposes.
Nothing in the Recruiter's manual advises recruiters to reveal the risks their prospects face, neither the physical hazards on the battlefield nor the psychological trauma and its aftereffects." More
U.N. calls on US to stop mandatory military testing
In early 2013 The UN's Committee on the Rights of the Child called on the Obama Administration to "Ensure that schools, parents and pupils are made aware of the voluntary nature of the ASVAB before consenting to the participation into it."
See Concluding Observations IV 21 (c)
Recruiting & Testing in the Parochial Schools
Summer is the season for high school football practice. Two years ago, the players at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Ore., got a different kind of coaching. For the first time, U.S. Army recruiters volunteered to run Central Catholics’ Rams through their strength and conditioning paces—helping them prepare for the annual “Holy War” match-up against arch-rival Jesuit High School.
According to an article in the Recruiter Journal (the monthly magazine for Army recruiting), the Army “footprint” for the big game included a Humvee parked outside the stadium, and a pre-kickoff event in which local recruiters placed “unit patch decals from various Army divisions” onto players’ helmets.
“Not once at practice did we talk about the Army,” said one of the recruiters. “It wasn’t about the Army, it was about how we can integrate ourselves into the community in a way the community will accept us and not feel like we are a threat.” In 2014, one of Central Catholic’s standout players was selected to participate in the annual U.S. Army All-American Bowl, a national football showcase which has been described as both the “crown jewel” in Army marketing strategy and a “springboard to bolster recruiting efforts.” Each year, a different coach is selected to lead the squad of the nation’s top high school players, and in 2013 the squad was led by a man who by then was quite well known in Army recruiting circles: Central Catholic’s football coach, Steve Pyne.
In recent years, the Pentagon’s military recruiting capabilities have experienced a quantum leap—including unprecedented access to Christian schools.