The Common Good
July 2010

Maryland Acts for Privacy and Peace

by Amy Barger | July 2010

Since 1968, public high schools in most states have been administering a military aptitude test and providing the Pentagon with names, addresses, and phone numbers, detailed career plans, ...

Since 1968, public high schools in most states have been administering a military aptitude test and providing the Pentagon with names, addresses, and phone numbers, detailed career plans, Social Security numbers, ethnicity, demographic information, and three and a half hours of test data—without the knowledge or consent of the students’ parents. In May, Maryland became the first state to bar this practice.

Effective in July, individual students in Maryland public schools that administer the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) or their parents must give written consent for personal information to be given to military recruiters; otherwise schools will not pass on the information.
“The idea that hundreds of thousands of American children,” Pat Elder, a member of the Maryland Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, told Sojourners, “are required or strongly encouraged to take a military test during school hours and have all the results shipped to the Pentagon without parental knowledge is unconscionable.” Elder, who also counsels troubled military veterans, led the drive to prohibit the use of the ASVAB test for recruitment purposes in Maryland.
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