WASHINGTON -- March 16 -- News Advisory:
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.)
Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.)
Punk Band Anti-Flag, co-directors of the Underground Action Alliance
WHAT: Launch of national 'opt-out' campaign and petition drive to end involuntary military recruitment in high schools permitted under the current No Child Left Behind Act
WHEN: 1:30 p.m., Thursday, March 17
WHERE: Cannon Terrace, adjacent to Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
Rep. Jim McDermott, who is a military veteran and the only psychiatrist in the U.S. Congress, and Rep. Pete Stark, an Air Force veteran, will appear with the punk band Anti-Flag, who represent the newly formed http://www.militaryfreezone.org, as the group launches a national drive to restore privacy to student records.
"No Child Left Behind was supposed to mean academic opportunity," McDermott said, "but the federal law permits a military recruiter to obtain private student information, and that is not right." McDermott added; "I support our military, but young people, not government, should make the decision about whether to explore a military career."
Not only has No Child Left Behind been shortchanged by the war in Iraq, now we learn the military is using it for an immoral recruitment scheme, said Rep. Pete Stark. No Child Left Behind is supposed to be about student achievement, not military recruiting.
McDermott and Stark explained that Section 9528 of NCLB grants military recruiters access to students' private records unless students, parents and guardians opt out in writing.
Justin Sane, lead singer for the band, said, "It's time that leaders making laws that affect us -- hear from us. How can anyone wonder why young people mistrust so many adults when a law gets passed that invades young peoples privacy without even their knowledge or consent?
To reach as many young people as possible, the band is launching http://www.militaryfreezone.org, which will give young people and parents the information and tools to help them take action.
McDermott said, "High schools across America are drug-free, alcohol-free and weapons-free; they should also be military-free. Every branch of the military has a multi-million dollar advertising budget; that's more than enough in the way of resources to reach young people."