Abolishing war a lofty goal, but it’s achievable. We need to replace a culture of war with one of peace.
This starts by ending the militarization of America’s children while they attend public schools. The U.S. military collects the names, addresses, and phone numbers of our children from the local high schools. However, the law says parents have the right to “opt-out” from having their child’s information sent to recruiters. High schools are supposed to tell parents they have this right, but many fail to do so. Consequently, most parents don’t know what’s going on, while the Pentagon collects their child’s information.
Click here to easily email your state legislators to insist that parents be afforded the right to say they don’t want their child’s information given to the Pentagon.
Although schools are required to inform parents of their right to opt out, the weak law doesn’t specify how. As a result, many schools send a single notice in a mailing, or tucked away in a student handbook, where parents are not likely to see it.
In Maryland, parents got organized and found a solution. As a result of these parents’ activism, Maryland is the only state that has passed a law that requires military recruiter opt-out language on schools’ mandatory emergency contact forms, which parents must complete annually. As a result, many Marylanders have opted out, so that their children’s information is not sent to military recruiters.
Let’s disrupt military recruitment across the country, and the world. Tell your elected officials to follow Maryland’s example.
We can undermine the institution of war, one school at a time.
Pat Elder, World Beyond War