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Peace and Prosperity

For the Back to School List—Military Recruiter Opt Out Form

War Is Racket

While shopping for pens, notebooks, or a backpack, don't forget to consider adding one more item to your back to school list—a military recruiter opt out form. All government school systems and most private schools that receive education funding from the United Stated government are required to provide to military recruiters high school students' names, addresses, and telephone numbers, plus any additional information about the students provided to colleges or prospective employers. The only way to prevent the sharing of this information is for a student or parent to opt out of the disclosure.

The American Friends Service Committee has made your shopping for an opt out form easy by providing on its website an opt out form that can be printed, filled out, and signed in two minutes.

Do not wait for a school to inform you of your right to opt out. Though schools are required to provide notice of the right to opt out, the US Department of Education directs that such notice may be buried in "[a] single notice provided through a mailing, student handbook, or other method that is reasonably calculated to inform parents."

If you would like to do something more, check out AFSC's other suggestions on its "Five ways to counter military recruitment in your school district" web page. The suggestions relate to providing people with information—that they can opt out, that there are opportunity costs of high military spending, that there are options other than joining the military. Also, you can suggest to anyone who is considering enlisting in the military that he watch AFSC's 14 minute video "Before You Enlist" that describes aspects of military service that recruiters are unlikely to mention in their sales pitches.
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