"Opt Out" refers to the process defined in the No Child Left Behind Act that allows secondary students to with hold their contact information from automatically being released to military recruiters by the school district or school. The law says that if a student has a letter or form signed by his/her parent the school does NOT have permission to give out their child’s contact info to recruiters, and the school must respect the parent’s decision. The law also allows a student to directly opt out without parent permission, regardless of age.
School policy regarding Opt Out
Schools have varying policies on what forms and letters they accept. If they do have a form, it is often in the stack of papers students get in the first few days of school and it is highly overlooked. In fact, some schools do not even know their own policy, so you have to push them to find out, and if they do not have one in place then you can help create that policy. In the meantime, however, they must accept your requests in whatever form you give them.
Schools have different deadlines for opting out, but they are usually in the beginning of the school year, often in October. Make sure to find out the deadline as soon as possible.
Here are some ideas (developed by the Resource Center for Non-Violence, Santa Cruz, CA) for goals to work for at your high school:
Here are some recommended links available to better inform you about opt out strategies . This is a work in progress and NNOMY will be adding new documents as they are prepared and as policies change that effect enlistment. Check back periodically.
Articles on the web:
Learning the Issues about Youth Demilitarization
The NNOMY Reader is a useful primer to learn about the realities of military recruitment, the militarism effecting our youth in schools and our opportunities for peaceful coexistance. This collection of articles represents a historical overview of the U.S. based counter-recruitment movement's strategies to inform and intervene in schools and the community about the Pentagon's multi-billion dollar programs to recruit America's youth into escalating wars. The NNOMY Reader also includes some information on alternatives to enlistment, as well as research presented by activists and investigators on the nature and risks of cultural militarization and how it threatens our democracy. Learn more