Five stalwart members and friends of the Granny Peace Brigade and CodePink gathered at Washington Irving High School on Thursday April 3, 2009, the evening of Citywide High School Parentsâ€™ Open School night, to help parents who want to keep their children from being recruited into the military. Pat, Leigh, Joe, Eva-Lee and Edith told students and their parents that they need to register with the school to keep their sonâ€™s or daughterâ€™s privacy intact. They canâ€™t assume that privacy is a given, or that they would need to give the school permission to give out their childâ€™s name and contact information.
Provisions of the NCLB Act (No Child Left Behind*) require the school to provide studentsâ€™ names and contact information to military recruiters or the school will lose funding. To prevent the studentâ€™s name from being given to recruiters for the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marines, the student and/or the parent must notify the school in writing that they donâ€™t want their childâ€™s name given out.
The Grannies gave out information and forms. They encouraged the parents and students to complete the forms and give them in to the principalâ€™s office.
Some parents and students said they had already given in the forms. Others were not yet aware of the need to do so and were very appreciative at being given the information and the forms. Several said that military recruiters have been calling their home repeatedly.
One man was of a different viewpoint â€“ he feels joining the military is a good opportunity. Staff in the school also engaged us in conversation and said that, although they have to be circumspect about it, they try to provide this information also.
- Edith Cresmer
* The NCLB Act provides funding to the schools