Keeping students records out of military hands

October 23, 2008 1:09:06 PM PDT
There is a new push to help parents protect the privacy of their children. It's not from predators, but from military recruiters who can access your child's school records. but what many parents may not know -- they can stop those recruiters by "opting out".

"It's extremely important because I don't want my grandchildren being involved in this war," said activist Bev Rice.

Rice has 16 grandchildren. She is part of a coalition, trying to make sure students do not receive unwanted contact from military recruiters.

"There's something predatory about going after young children who don't know what their options are," said Nydia Leaf.

Recruiters lhave access to the names and contact information of high school students at individual schools, under a requirement of the federal "no child left behind act". A recent news conference pointed out that the access will soon become easier.

"Students' personal information will now be provided to the recruiters centrally, directly, by the Department of Education," said Donna Lieberman, Exec. Director of A.C.L.U.

Eyewitness News spoke to a group of student activists about the changes.

"It kind of feels like, with the new regulation, that...the...D.O.E. is kind of pushing the kids towards the military instead of like pushing them toward, like, institutes of higher education," said Tracey Hobbs.

Members of the coalition say recruiters profile potential recruits.

"They're going to neighborhoods where the kids are more vulnerable because there aren't as many educational options, as many job options, so those are the schools that they target," said Nancy Kricorian.

Activists say some students and their families may not know about the opt-out forms.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News education reporter Art McFarland

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