When public high schools opened their doors last fall, military recruiters lined up to get personal student data. When the "No Child Left Behind Act" was signed into law in January 2002, 30 years of closely guarding the personal information of high school students came to an end. Buried in the 670-page act, which was supposedly intended to ensure that every child had access to a decent education, was a paragraph stating that public high schools must now supply military recruiters with students' names, addresses, and telephone numbers. If a school refuses, it could lose its federal funding.
Parents can "opt out" of having their children's information disclosed to the military, but to do so is a bureaucratic nightmare with a very short time frame. A D.C.-based group, CHOICES, is taking a student refusal card into high schools to educate students about the new policies and to promote civilian options for job skills, training, and money for college.