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Parents of high school students advised of military "Opt Out"

Posted Sunday, August 9, 2009

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Pittsboro, NC - The Student Services Department of Chatham County Schools wants parents of high school students to be aware of an option involving information and its release to military recruiters.

Military recruitment has long been part of the fabric of high school life. The military provides opportunities for students to further their education and receive high quality training after they graduate from high school. Recruiters take a genuine interest in students, helping them navigate academics and encouraging them to act responsibly and graduate on time.

The passing of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Section 9528 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, has increased the recruiting scope of the military. As written and reported on the Federal Department of Education website (www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/hottopics/ht-10-09-02a.html), "each LEA (Local Education Agency) that receives funds under the ESEA must comply with a request by a military recruiter or an institution of higher education for secondary students’ names, addresses and telephone numbers."

However, the law also requires that school districts give students and parents the opportunity to withhold the student’s contact information from the military. According to 20 U.S.C. 7908(a)(2), “A secondary school student or the parents of the student may request that the student’s name, address and telephone listing…not be released without prior written parental consent, and the local educational agency or private school shall notify parents of the option to make a request and shall comply with any request.”

"Chatham County Schools believes that military service is a great opportunity for some students, but understands that some parents would like to safeguard their personal information and prefer to have that information protected. The school system wants to comply with the law, but at the same time respect the wishes of parents," said George Greger-Holt, Director of Student Services.

To “Opt Out,” parents must fill out a “Student/Parent Refusal Form for Military Recruiter Information Requests” and return that form to the principal of their child’s school. Forms will be available at high school main offices, at school open houses and on the Chatham County Schools Student Services Department web site. New forms must be completed each year.

Questions can be directed to the school principal or to Greger-Holt at the central office of Chatham County Schools at 919.542.6400, extension 23269.

 
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