Counterpunch is running an article which tells the disturbing story of school and State officials in the Peach State collaborating with the US military and ignoring concerns about the violation of students’ privacy. Southerners already contribute a greatly disproportional percentage of their young people to the Federal military. We now see that the Federal military is using public schools to target more of our young people for use as cannon fodder in the various US foreign conflicts around the planet.
U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (USMEPCOM) Regulation 601-4 identifies the options schools may choose regarding the administration and release of their students’ ASVAB results. These options include Option 8, which provides high schools and their students with the students’ test results, but does not entail automatically sending the results to military recruiters.
In its letter, the ACLU of Georgia asks that a state-wide policy that requires schools to protect such information be adopted in Georgia, specifically, a policy that requires the selection of option 8 by school officials.
States such as Maryland and Hawaii and cities such as New York City have required that their public schools respect student privacy by enacting laws and policies in which schools must choose Option 8 when the ASVAB test is administered.
In documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, not a single high school in Georgia selected option 8 during the 2010-2011 school year, while the ASVAB test results of more than 26,000 students was marked by Options 1-6, meaning test results and student information may be released to recruiters without prior consent. The data for 2011 covering more than 29,000 students indicates the same.
If school officials do not select a release option, the school’s Educational Support Specialist will select Option 1 which entails automatically releasing the information to military recruiters. In 2009-2010, 83.9% of the children in Georgia were tested under Option 1. This percentage had increased to 87.7% of Georgia’s students in 2010-2011.