Army Recruiters And Youth

The debate concerning to what extent military recruiters should have access to high school youth continues as Congress considers changes in the No Child Left Behind law which compels high schools to give the military access to names and addresses. Rep. Mike Honda wants the law changed to require parental permission before a child’s name and phone number is released to military recruiters. “Parents have an obligation and right to control their children’s private information,” noted the congressman. On the other hand, some argue if schools receive money from the federal government they should provide access to military recruiters. This is apple and orange type thinking. If schools receive money from the Department of Education they have an obligation to provide that federal department with information, but why does it require allowing other areas of the government access?

A few years ago I talked with military recruiters who were near Brooklyn College. They were frank when saying they only went to high schools in disadvantaged areas and did not go near a high ranking high school. Honda’s suggestion is fair and restores to parents control over information about their children without denying military access to schools.

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