On Sept. 16, we launched a state-wide campaign committed to ridding Maryland’s public schools of military recruitment. We hope that our efforts in Maryland will inspire the rest of the nation!
Due to last year’s success in the state legislature, Maryland is now the only state in the union with a law that offers parents an opportunity to say that they do not want their child’s information sent to the military, through checking a box on the mandatory emergency information form (EIF) filled out by parents every year.
Thus, this year, for the first time, the names, addresses, and phone numbers of Maryland’s high school juniors and seniors won’t be included on lists furnished to the Pentagon for recruitment purposes. Pretty cool!
New Challenge with ASVAB
We almost succeeded last year in passing another bill, one that would have further protected the privacy of Maryland students. Many schools strongly encourage students to take a military test during school hours called the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). Even if parents check off on the EIF that they want their child’s privacy protected, when the child takes the ASVAB, the parents’ stated desires are circumvented. Children who take the ASVAB usually have all their personal information sent to military recruiters, and typically neither the children nor the parents realize this.
The bill we promoted last year would have prohibited the automatic release to the military of information on students who take the ASVAB, unless their parents consented. This bill passed the Maryland Senate before dying in a Maryland House committee.
While Montgomery and Prince Georges counties have already taken steps to disallow the ASVAB from being used as a recruitment tool without parental consent, students in other Maryland school districts are not protected. We plan to get our bill passed this year to ensure the right to privacy of all Maryland’s children–and to spur other states to do the same.
For more information, check out these Web sites: