Resources for Teachers
Welcome teachers! Educators like you know that the No Child Left Behind Act is a slow-motion train wreck for public schools. And NCLB's Section 9528 -- releasing private information on kids to military recruiters -- is an added insult, especially if you see kids getting a hard sell on enlistment as the only route to college and jobs, often without their parents' knowledge or consent.
Fortunately, you can do something about it.
Right now, teachers are mobilizing across the country to protect student privacy. For example, more than 25% of the people signing on as Citizen Co-Sponsors of the Student Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 551) through this site are teachers.
And, as you may know, the National Education Assocation (NEA), an organization made up of 2.7 million teachers, opposes the mandate that schools turn over private student information to military recruiters without explicit written permission from parents. Click here to read the NEA's official position, adopted in July 2005.
So, as a teacher, what can you do? Whether you're actively teaching, retired, in secondary school or otherwise, there are many simple actions you can take to push back against this section of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Easy Action: Ask your Superintendent the Question
Spread the Word on Opt Out
It's the law for districts to tell families about NCLB's military recruitment. So you are well within your rights and responsibilities to help them do so more effectively.
If your district has a good Opt Out form (preferably on an emergency card), print up copies and keep stacks everywhere: in classrooms, at parent meetings, community centers, and administrative offices.
If your district has an Opt Out form that is not satisfactory, perhaps because it is buried within a pile of other forms sent to parents OR because it unfairly penalizes students by opting them out of the school's full student directory, read and download this "Good Policies" document and let your school know that there's a better way!
Sign On to Fix It
The Student Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 551) has been introduced in Congress to mend NCLB's privacy loophole and change the policy to Opt In (instead of Opt Out). The more organizations and individuals that sign on as supporters to this legislation, the hotter this debate will burn.
Urge organizations you belong to (unions, clubs, school boards, parent groups, etc.) to endorse the Student Privacy Protection Act (H.R. 551). Learn more about the Student Privacy Protection Act, here (PDF).
View our Sample Endorsement for you to download.
For many months, concerned citizens, parents, friends and families have been utilizing LeaveMyChildAlone.org to SHOW UP at school board meetings across the country. If no one has addressed this important issue with your school board, you can speak with authority as a teacher.
Find out when your community's next School Board meeting is, often listed on the school's web site.
Show up to the School Board meeting with this "Good Policies" document, an Optimum Opt-Out Resolution, and a suggested sample Emergency Card form that includes a very clear check box for parents to Opt Out their children (read this newspaper article for an example of how utilizing an Emergency Card can significantly increase Opt Out rates).
Bonus Pentagon Action
Spread the word on how to Opt Out of the Pentagon's mega-database of 16-to-25-year-olds. Click here for information.