A portion of No Child Left Behind requires all public high schools to send their students’ names to the military for recruiting if they wish to receive federal funding. The law requires that schools disclose that students can opt out of sending their names to the military, but that disclosure can be limited to something as obscure as a paragraph in a student handbook — and no one reads the handbook (WSFCS’ handbook has the disclosure on page 11 at the bottom of the first column).
Mrs. Beeson, a guidance counselor at East, thinks that military collection of names is “okay.” She mentioned that it has been going on “since the ’80s.” One student said that he didn’t care and that “they can send me mail.”
Multiple teachers on campus were surprised that a provision like this existed. Ms. Gallup, a guidance counselor at East in the 2014-2015 school year, had no idea that the school system collected names and sent them to the military. Mrs. Watson, a Civics teacher, did not know about No Child Left Behind’s military provision either.
Mr. Bass, who has been in administration for approximately 16 years, said he has never been notified by a student or parent to opt out of the military requirements. In fact, he was unaware of its inclusion in the student handbook. He mentioned that in today’s society, people want to join the military as opposed to being forced to join.
This practice is continued in President Obama’s new education legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act.
To opt out, students have to send a request to the principal. However, it is decreasingly likely that people will be drafted anytime soon, and 18 year olds are already required to register with Selective Service. Despite this, the fact that the military collects all of this information in a secretive manner reminiscent of the NSA will surely lead to some Eagles requesting to be excluded.