This just arrived on my desktop from the Michigan ACLU. Anyone with children in high school should know about the “opt out” clause that has, most likely, not been advertised.
Today, most Michigan high school students and their parents are probably thinking about getting a new routine down pat, juggling work and school schedules, and who will get the car this Friday night.
You're probably not thinking about military recruiters and student privacy.
Whether your school has informed you or not, military recruiters are likely to request all student directory information from high schools, possibly by October.* Under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002, schools must turn over student directory information to military recruiters who request it.
But students have the right to keep their information private.
The ACLU of Michigan provides information to students and their parents about their right to privacy under No Child Left Behind. View our "Frequently Asked Questions on Student Privacy, Military Recruitment and the No Child Left Behind Act" here. The FAQ is available on our website and in printer-friendly form for easy copying.
The No Child Left Behind Act requires that schools inform students of their right to "opt out," keeping their information from military recruiters. Schools may have different procedures for opting out, but in most cases, simply informing the school in writing that you wish to keep your information private is enough.
If you'd like the military to have your information, then simply do nothing. Your name will be kept on a list of students who have implicitly given the school permission to share your information. If not, you must contact your school in writing to request that they remove your name, address and any listed telephone number from the list they provide to the military.
If you'd like to keep your information private, you can write your school a letter or print our "Opt Out Request Form to Protect Student Privacy" here. Keeping your information from the military should not mean that you must also be excluded from the yearbook, the school directory or from college or job recruiters. Our form allows you to select the lists on which you want to remain.
It should be your choice to share your information or keep it private. Learn about your rights under the No Child Left Behind Act and make an informed decision.
* The Michigan Department of Education website section on No Child Left Behind includes a 2005 notification that the U.S. Army had sent directory information requests to all Michigan high schools with a response date of October 15, 2005. View the notification here.