Act quickly to halt recruiters

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2004

As the new school year rapidly approaches, mailboxes are flooded with information about registration for school, classes, extracurricular activities, health-records requirements, bus routes, and the many other matters that students must address as they start the school year. Parents and students are asked to read and sign forms for participation in activities, health center, among other things.

One form soon to be in the mail, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, informs high school students and parents of their opportunity to withhold permission for the school district to release "directory information" to military recruiters. The federal law requires that this be provided in a timely manner. Directory information includes, but is not limited to, a student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. While some students and parents may not have a problem with this, others may. I know of young people and their families who have experienced unwelcome and continuous attempts by recruiters to contact students at home.

The school district plans to send out packets to all Juneau students at the end of the week of Aug. 16. The packet for high school students will include Form No. 8330F, which the student or parent needs to sign to withhold release of the directory information to military recruiters. On the Form No. 8330F you will have to write in that you withhold permission specifically to military recruiters. The form notes that this still permits the school district to release information to honor rolls, programs for performances, team rosters, school yearbook.

The school district's deadline for receiving these signed forms is short - within 10 days of the start of the school year. With school opening on Aug. 25, that means forms may need to be in by Sept. 3 - not much time.

I urge parents and high school students to look for this form and act promptly. Military recruiters generally do not delay in their requests to school districts for this information. Military recruiters regularly visit high school classes. If you do not wish at home recruiting, you will need to fill out this important form.

Amy Paige

Juneau



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