WASHINGTON -- March 18 -- Reps. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) and Pete Stark (D-Calif.), both military veterans, and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), ranking Democrat on the Education Reform Subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee, joined the Punk activist band Anti-Flag for the launch of its national drive to restore privacy to student records in schools.
Under a provision in the No Child Left Behind law, schools are required to provide private student contact information to military recruiters, or face the loss of federal funds.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey said, "Schools should be able to invite military recruiters to their campuses, but must not be forced to give military recruiters contact information about their student body."
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 people's privacy without even their knowledge or consent?"
Section 9528 of NCLB grants a military recruiter access to private student contact information unless students, parents or guardians opt-out in writing. The Band has launched http://www.militaryfreezone.org , which provides resources and information on how to opt out, and the band will gather signatures calling for NCLB to be amended to restore student privacy.
"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 added, "I support our military, but young people, not government, should make the decision about whether to explore a military career."
"Militaryfreezone.org will build on the voter registration and activism that recently ignited so many young people to become involved in politics; in particular the anti-militarization movement that many young people are now a part of," Sane said.
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