Leave My Child Alone!
A Family Privacy Project to Protect Students from Unwanted Military Recruiting
Buried deep within the No Child Left Behind Act is a provision that requires public high schools to hand over private student information to military recruiters.The purpose of this invasion of family privacy is to allow minor students to be recruited at home by telephone calls, mail and personal visits. If a school does not comply, it risks losing vital federal education funds.
The only way to keep your children’s contact information from military recruiters is to submit an "opt-out" letter in writing to your school district’s superintendent.
Section 9528 -- this little-known provision of the No Child Left Behind Act -- was originally inserted into the bill by Rep. David Vitter of Louisiana, with almost no debate in Congress. Vitter included this provision after learning from the Pentagon that many public schools maintained strict privacy policies protecting student information from being released to any outside parties, thus preventing aggressive military recruiting.
In addition, the Pentagon also recently set up a database of 30 million 16-25-year-olds, including name, address, email addresses, cell phone numbers, ethnicity, social security numbers and areas of study. This Pentagon database is updated daily and distributed monthly to the Armed Services for recruitment purposes.
In response to both of these violations to the privacy of children across the country, Mainstreet Moms (The MMOB) is coordinating the Leave My Child Alone! campaign in partnership with Working Assets and ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). The campaign, comprised of ongoing online and offline actions, is focused on the following goals:
- Educate parents about the military recruiting provision of No Child Left Behind and the Pentagan database, and make it easy for parents who want to protect their children’s privacy to opt-out from these lists.
- Provide support for the Student Privacy Protection Act of 2005 (H.R. 551), a bill introduced in the House of Representatives which reverses section 9528 (opt-out) and requires schools to first obtain parental permission before releasing private student information to military recruiters (opt-in).
- Facilitate community events to encourage local organizing around schools.
At the heart of this nonpartisan campaign is an online tool (LeaveMyChildAlone.org) that parents and community organizers can use to identify appropriate school district officials to target with Opt Out letters, find other parents interested in working together, and support community events where like-minded parents and friends can come together to protect their children from unwanted recruiting.
If you have general questions about the Leave My Child Alone campaign, please take a few minutes to explore our Frequently Asked Questions page at:
For more information on how you or your organization can get involved in the Leave My Child Alone campaign to protect family privacy and stop unwanted military recruiting of children, contact us.