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  • Tell your school board a thing or two about ASVAB testing in schools.

    Posted by Green Party Peace Network on January 23, 2008

    Forwarded from Maryland Green Party member Pat Elder who is very active in the United for Peace and Justice Anti-Recruitment Campaign

    The Green Party Platform Section on Education contains this statement: “The Leave No Child Behind Act must be repealed, especially the section that gives the military access to student records.”

    Tue, 22 Jan 2008

    We held a spirited demonstration yesterday at the corporate headquarters of Lockheed Martin in suburban Washington to honor Dr. Martin Luther King and to draw attention to Lockheed’s insidious record. Lockheed produces the Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS). Each MLRS can fire up to 12 rockets at
    once, and each rocket contains 644 M77 submunitions, or cluster bombs. Each
    bomblet can kill up to a 12 foot radius. The damn things don’t all explode
    and innocent children are regularly killed by these devices produced by my
    Lockheed neighbor..

    I helped to organize the event and 30 of us proceeded to the empty compound
    where we were met by 26 heavily armed police officers assembled at the front
    gate of the weaponeer. We made brief speeches invoking the memory of the
    slain civil rights leader and we noted that Bush administration officials
    defended the use of cluster munitions at the U.N. last week.

    It was a brief protest. After all, it was cold and no one was listening
    anyway. Then it hit me.

    I walked away from the demonstration with two heavily-bundled activists
    carrying their signs about Lockheed and the war and I asked them if they’d
    received my emails about sending a letter to their school board about the
    ASVAB. They’d received the emails but they were uncomfortable about sending
    the letter. I couldn’t decipher exactly why they were so reluctant to get
    involved in this campaign. These are folks who have been arrested on
    several occasions because of their passionate beliefs, but felt
    uncomfortable about sending a letter to their school board. One told me she
    felt she didn’t understand the nuances of the issue sufficiently to take a
    stand that way. The other said he wasn’t “one to send letters.” When I
    explained that the work was already done and all they had to do was click on
    a few links to familiarize themselves with the issue, they both responded
    that they were more comfortable sticking with the street protests.

    O.K.

    When are people gonna get it? I participated in that event because it felt
    good and I got off carrying a sign with a great MLK quote. There’s
    something deeply ingratiating about street demonstrations, but they’ve not
    been effective in stopping this war. Counter recruitment is different
    because we are being effective. We are being successful.

    I posted this ASVAB LETTER TEMPLATE a week ago and I received two emails
    from people who promised to send letters to their school boards. C’mon! We
    can break the back of the ASVAB as a recruiting tool if folks on this list
    would send the letter to their school superintendents and school boards.
    You don’t even have to risk arrest! Please, set aside a half hour and study
    this. Then, send a letter to your superintendent and school board. For
    more on the ASVAB, see: <blocked::http://www.nnomy.org/> http://www.nnomy.org and
    click on ASVAB.

    – Pat Elder
    —————

    ASVAB LETTER TEMPLATE
    Your organization
    Your Town, US
    DATE

    Superintendent of Schools
    Address

    Dear Superintendent ___________________:

    We are writing to ask you to protect the privacy of students in the ________
    Public Schools who take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery,
    (ASVAB).

    Although ___________ Public School System promotes the ASVAB as a voluntary
    “Career Exploration Program” administered to juniors and seniors, the US
    Army Recruiting Command’s School Recruiting Program Handbook says the
    primary purpose of the ASVAB is to provide military recruiters “with a
    source of leads of high school juniors and seniors qualified through the
    ASVAB for enlistment into the Active Army and Army Reserve.” See page 6:
    <blocked::http://www.usarec.army.mil/im/formpub/REC_PUBS/p350_13.pdf>
    http://www.usarec.army.mil/im/formpub/REC_PUBS/p350_13.pdf

    Unless a school district takes measures to protect student privacy, the data
    from the ASVAB is automatically forwarded to military recruiting services.
    This practice runs counter to the opt-out provision of Section 9528 of the
    Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and we believe may violate (insert
    your state) law regarding student privacy.

    Children who sit for the ASVAB are required to sign a “Privacy Statement”
    that gives permission to the military to use private information and test
    results for recruiting purposes. See DoD Form 1304-5AS:

    <blocked::http://www.nnomy.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_weblinks&task=vie
    w&catid=205&id=49>
    http://www.nnomy.org/joomla/index.php?option=com_weblinks&task=view&catid=20
    5&id=49

    This form is usually signed by students without the consent of their
    parents, a practice that may run counter to (your state’s) laws that protect
    the privacy rights of minors. (See this brief by the National Lawyers
    Guild, Los Angeles Chapter.)

    <blocked::http://www.nlg-la.org/Final ASVAB Memo.pdf>
    http://www.nlg-la.org/Final%20ASVAB%20Memo.pdf

    In the last year, three of the nation’s largest school systems, Montgomery
    and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland and the Los Angeles Unified School
    District have taken steps pursuant to military regulations that allow for
    the administration of the test but preclude test data from falling into the
    hands of military recruiters.

    The U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command identifies 8 options schools
    have regarding the administration and release of ASVAB information. These
    options range from Option 1, which permits test results and other student
    information to be released to military recruiters without prior consent, to
    Option 8, which requires active consent to release the ASVAB test results
    and private information. School officials typically cite the importance of
    ensuring student privacy when selecting Option 8. Inaction on the part of a
    school system will cause the military to automatically select Option 1.

    The Montgomery district requires students to have a signed parental
    permission form to take the test.

    See USMEPCOM Regulation 601.4 Personnel Procurement Student Testing Program
    25 July, 2005, pages 12 & 13 for an explanation of the various options
    available to public school systems:
    <blocked::http://www.mepcom.army.mil/publications/pdf/regs/r-0601-004.pdf>
    http://www.mepcom.army.mil/publications/pdf/regs/r-0601-004.pdf

    Sincerely,
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