Pat Elder - The National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy -
A bill that would have protected the privacy of Connecticut's school children was recently defeated by the Democratically-controlled General Assembly. The legislation was designed to prohibit the release of student information without parental consent.
Parents should be confident that they can send their children to school and know that extremely sensitive information about their child's verbal and math abilities will not be sent to a third party without their knowledge or consent. Parents should not have to worry that detailed demographic information, including social security numbers, are released without their O.K.
Parents have cause to be concerned because the military is excluded from the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). - That's the Federal law, passed in 1982 that allows mom and dad the opportunity to consent to the release of any information about their kids. (1)
SB 423 is a bill that would have prohibited the wholesale release of student information to military recruiters gained through the administration of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Career Exploration Program (ASVAB-CEP) without parental consent.
Few realize that it's possible for a Connecticut child to attend school, take a military entrance exam proctored by DoD employees and have all the information sent to military recruiters without parents knowing about it.
The legislation would still allow the military to use the ASVAB for recruiting purposes. (2) Instead, a student would have to visit a military recruiter and fill out a form to use the test scores for enlistment. ASVAB results are the only information leaving Connecticut's schools about students without providing for parental consent. It's a violation of civil liberties and it should stop.