Pat Elder

Pat ElderPat Elder was a co-founder of the DC Antiwar Network (DAWN) and a member of the Steering Committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, (NNOMY).  Pat is currently involved in a national campaign with the Women's International League for Peace & Freedom project, Military Poisons,  investigating on U.S. military base contamination domestically and internationally.  Pat’s work has prominently appeared in NSA documents tracking domestic peace groups.

 

Documents:

audio  Pat Elder - National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth

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Halt the military invasion of Catholic schools

By Pat Elder -

Image: Flickr photo cc by Debra SweetDuring the Second Battle of Fallujah in November 2004, 1st Lt. Jesse A. Grapes saved the lives of three wounded marines in his platoon by entering a burning house, where he encountered the enemy soldier who had been firing at his troops. Six years later Grapes was named headmaster of Benedictine College Preparatory, a Catholic military school in Richmond, Virginia. The June 2010 issue of the school’s newspaper, The New Chevron, called Grapes a “patriotic war hero.”

In describing Grapes’ Iraq War exploits, Benedictine’s student newspaper dismissed the fact he was accused of ordering marines under his command to shoot four captured prisoners. Grapes refused to talk to government investigators, citing his Fifth Amendment rights.

It’s quite a lesson for students at Benedictine, which is kind of a poster child for the modern militarized Catholic school. Every year Benedictine requires all juniors to take the military entrance exam. The school operates an Army JROTC program and has a student organization that teaches students how to use small arms. Of course, these are expected activities in a military school. The question is whether these activities are appropriate in a Catholic school.

Military testing in the nation's high schools is a violation of student privacy

Pat Elder -

Pat ElderDuring the last year or so about half of the states have enacted legislation aimed at protecting student privacy. Meanwhile, President Obama has called for a Student Data Privacy Act, saying “data collected on students in the classroom should only be used for educational purposes — to teach our children, not to market to our children.”

Most of the new laws and the President’s proposal have omitted the most egregious violation of student privacy in the nation. It is the Department of Defense’s administration of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) to more than 650,000 children in 12,000 high schools and the retention of demographic information, social security numbers, and 3 hours of test results for recruiting purposes without parental consent.

A Military Whitewash Campaign

Pat Elder - The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy -

We own your freedomA bill that would have protected the privacy of Connecticut's school children was recently defeated by the Democratically-controlled General Assembly. The legislation was designed to prohibit the release of student information without parental consent.

Parents should be confident that they can send their children to school and know that extremely sensitive information about their child's verbal and math abilities will not be sent to a third party without their knowledge or consent. Parents should not have to worry that detailed demographic information, including social security numbers, are released without their O.K.

Parents have cause to be concerned because the military is excluded from the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). - That's the Federal law, passed in 1982 that allows mom and dad the opportunity to consent to the release of any information about their kids. (1)

SB 423 is a bill that would have prohibited the wholesale release of student information to military recruiters gained through the administration of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Career Exploration Program (ASVAB-CEP) without parental consent.

Few realize that it's possible for a Connecticut child to attend school, take a military entrance exam proctored by DoD employees and have all the information sent to military recruiters without parents knowing about it.

The legislation would still allow the military to use the ASVAB for recruiting purposes. (2) Instead, a student would have to visit a military recruiter and fill out a form to use the test scores for enlistment. ASVAB results are the only information leaving Connecticut's schools about students without providing for parental consent. It's a violation of civil liberties and it should stop.

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