Dear Superintendent, School Board member, Principal, etc.
In 2001 Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act that requires high schools to provide military recruiters the name, address, and telephone listing of each high school student. The law also allows parents the right to “opt-out” of lists of students being forwarded by the high schools to military recruiters. See Section 8025 of the current Every Student Succeeds Act, (ESSA). According to the law, a parent of a secondary school student may submit a written request to the school that the student's private information not be released to the military. Upon receiving such a request, the school may not release the student’s information without written consent of the parent. The law says each local educational agency “shall notify the parents” of the students served by the school of the right to opt out, although it is not clear how this is to be done. The law is weak. Nothing in the statute describes exactly how a school system is supposed to notify parents or identifies a particular form for accomplishing the task of opting out. Some school systems in Name of statewere immediately proactive, produced an opt-out form, and made it available to parents.
Others were not so forthcoming. According to the US Department of Education, a Single Notice provided through a mailing, student handbook, or other method that is “reasonably calculated to inform parents” is sufficient. Consequently, in Name of state today, most parents of high school children are unaware of the issue.
The Pentagon collects the contact information of millions of young people without mom and dad’s knowledge or consent. State legislators in Maryland saw the injustice and passed a law mandating the placement of the military recruiter opt-out language on the child’s emergency contact form completed by all parents annually. Parents should know they have the right to say no to having their child’s information sent to military recruiters. The military recruiter opt-out form should be mandatory in Name of state. We call on you to work with us in this regard.