U.S Military wants high school student data
Student rights continue to be eroded - now in support of military action - In 2001 the federal No Child Left Behind law passed - it requires school districts to hand over personal contact information for all juniors and seniors to military recruiters. The law also allows students to opt out.
Berkeley High remains the only high school in the nation that has failed to comply with the military's request for students' data, a Department of Defense spokesman said.
The Berkeley Unified School District board has a strict policy against releasing students' personal information. Instead of adopting an opt out policy, it used an "opt in" procedure in which students and parents could sign a form only if they wanted their information released to the military. A month ago, the school - under pressure from the government to release the data or lose funding - changed its policy that blocked the release of students' personal information. The new policy allows students and parents who do not wish to be contacted by military recruiters to opt out by signing a form.
But the school did not immediately release the data to the government. Instead, a group of parents have been on a campaign to ask each and every student whether they want to opt out.
Thus far, 90 percent of the students at Berkeley High have refused to have their names released to miliary recruiters. Berkeley High risked losing $10 million in federal funding, and possibly faced legal action, if it did not change its policy regarding military recruitment.
Time will only tell when Canada's actions in Afghanistan start to breed similar erosions of civil rights here in Canada.