What we can do
Progressive individuals, organizations, foundations and media all have important roles to play in confronting the conservative, corporate and military influences in our educational system. Below are lists of ideas for action and groups that offer useful resources and background information. Source: http://savecivilianeducation.org/
Five Avenues of Resistance: Opt-out, ASVAB, JROTC, Marksmanship, and Recruiter Access.
- Federal law requires schools to release the names, addresses, and numbers of all high school students to military recruiters.
- Many state public school systems also provides recruiters a child’s: date and place of birth, of education, degree received, and the most recent previous school attended.
- Parents have the right to “opt-out” in writing from having their child’s information sent to military recruiters.
- Schools must notify parents they have the right to opt out.
- The law is weak. A single notice provided through a mailing, student handbook, or method is sufficient. Consequently, most parents are not aware there’s an easy way to opt-out of having their child’s info sent to recruiters.
- Most do a lousy job informing parents of the right to opt out.Many Minnesota school systems have an “opt-out” form that online or part of a student handbook.
- Maryland is the only state to have a law that requires all parents to complete the opt-out form.
- We must make completion of the opt-out form mandatory.
- JAMRS is the Pentagon’s Orwellian Joint Advertising, Marketing, Research Systems database.It is the Mother of all Databases, collecting detailed information on 30 million American youth from age 16 to 24.
- See the JAMRS Opt-out form produced by the New York Civil Liberties Union – Yes! There are two opt-out procedures.
II ASVAB - Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery
- The ASVAB is the military’s 3-hour enlistment exam.
- About 700,000 students in 12,000 high schools now take the ASVAB across the country every year.
- Military regulations say the primary purpose of the ASVAB “Career Exploration Program” is to find leads for recruiters.
- The ASVAB provides coveted information the Pentagon purchase of find on social media the cognitive abilities of kids.
- The ASVAB also collects social security numbers, a practice prohibited by many state laws.
- The military proctors the test with the assistance of school staff. If the schools gave the ASVAB, the results would be deemed to be educational records and thus, subject to the federal law that calls for parental consent before information on children is released to third parties.
- ASVAB results are the only student information leaving our nation’s classrooms without parental consent.
- To prevent testing information from reaching recruiters, schools must tell the military before the test that “ASVAB Release Option 8” must be used for ALL the students who are tested. Option 8 means the military can’t use the results to recruit kids.
- Schools select release options, not parents.
- Just 20% of the high schools across the country select Option 8 for their students who take the ASVAB.
- Maryland, Hawaii, and New Hampshire have laws mandating Option 8 while 2,000 additional high schools have selected Release Option 8.
- Some states allows high school students who fail mandated exit exams
to take the ASVAB as an alternative assessment.
III Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps – JROTC
- JROTC programs exist in 3,402 high schools nationwide – 65% of them in the South – with a total enrollment of 557,129 students.
- JROTC textbooks teach a reactionary brand of U.S. history and government, while classes are often taught by military retirees with no college education. Meanwhile, every other classroom teacher in the nation typically must be certified and hold a Masters after a few years.
- The unit on citizenship is entitled, “You the People.”
- Students should never be placed in JROTC classes without parental consent.
- Request the JROTC enrollment statistics for each school. If any units have fallen below a total of 100 students two years in a row, agitate to remove them as required by federal law.
- Many states allows students who take JROTC to also satisfy P.E. credits.
- The Pentagon embraces the seductive power of the trigger as a recruiting device.Realizing the potential, the military exploits video games and weaponry to recruit and cultivate adolescent killers.
- 2,400 high schools have marksmanship programs affiliated with JROTC and the congressionally-chartered Civilian Marksmanship Program. The kids regularly attend tournaments hosted by the NRA.
- Schools allow shooting to occur during school hours in classrooms and gyms that are contaminated by .177 cal. lead pellets fired from CO2 air rifles at 600 fps.
- Lead fragments become airborne and are deposited on the floor at the muzzle-end and at the target backstop. Kids track the lead throughout the school. Loose enforcement of regulations creates a health hazard for students and custodial staff.
- Verify which schools currently have firing ranges.
- Demand the closure of marksmanship programs. At least demand they stop using lead projectiles in school buildings.
- If shooting ranges are present, determine if the school is adhering to the “Guide to Lead Management for Air Gun Shooting” published by the Civilian Marksmanship Program.
- Federal law says military recruiters are to have the same access to kids as college recruiters – not greater access. Military recruiters may eat in the cafeteria while college recruiters meet with select kids in the guidance office. Military recruiters also perform dozens of volunteer tasks in the schools.
- Demand that military recruiters never be allowed to be alone with kids.
- Get counter-recruitment information from NNOMY (National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth) and Project YANO (Project on Youth and Non-military Opportunities) into your schools.
- Make sure recruiters are not regularly occupying guidance offices.
- Federal courts have ruled you have the right to counter the message of recruiters in the schools.
Other Strategies for Countering School Militarization
- Tabling opposite the Marines at McCallum HS
- Winning The Peace: A National High School Intervention
- Guide to High School Leafleting
- A fuller list of ideas that can confront expanding militarism
in your schools and community