Fresno Peace Activists Say: “Military recruiters: ‘leave my child alone!”
Fresno Peace Activists Say: "Military recruiters: ‘leave
my child alone!"
By Mike Rhodes
A march and rally was held in downtown Fresno today (September 10, 2005) to encourage students to "opt-out" of being contacted by military recruiters. Organizers for the march said that under The No Child Left Behind Act public schools are obligated to furnish the contact information of students to the federal government for use by military recruiters. At the rally in front of the Navy recruiting center, participants were told that many students and parents may not know they have the legal option of opting out by signing a form requesting that the school administration not supply their personal contact information for military recruitment purposes. Schools are not financially penalized for informing students and parents that they have the right to opt out from being contacted by military recruiters.
The march’s organizers say they have a two-fold purpose: to demilitarize the public schools and to protect students’ right to privacy. "We want to promote the separation of schools and the military so the two no longer march in lock-step with one another" said Vincent Lavery, a board member of the Fresno Center for Nonviolence and one of the organizers of the march.
Students and parents may obtain the opt-out form by visiting the Peace Fresno website at www.peacefresno.org and downloading and printing out the form online. Students may fill out and submit the form to their school office without having to obtain their parent’s permission.
The march was attended by about 50 peace activists, teachers, and students.