Why 'Opting-Out' Is Not Enough

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It may be true that
many parents
are not aware
that they are allowed to request that their children's
names, addresses, and telephone numbers not be provided by their
high schools to the military under the No Child Left Behind Act,
which otherwise requires it, but what seems to be even less understood
is that the practice of the military obtaining this data on students
from the high schools has been going on for decades.  I can
remember working with lists of high school students when I worked
in an Army Recruiting Station over 30 years ago and the only real
difference that I have been able to discern between then and now
is that federal funding is now linked to this under the No Child
Left Behind Act, as it is with all aspects of that act, and compliance
of the schools in providing student data to the military is no longer
at the discretion of any school that expects to continue receiving
federal funds; it is required by law.

Parents of high school
students are certainly right to attempt to protect their children
from the influence of military recruiters by exercising the opt-out
that is currently permitted; however, considering that what we are
dealing with here is a classic case of the fox being paid to take
care of the henhouse, the opt-out, in reality, amounts to little
more than putting a band-aid on a gaping wound.

It's a no-brainer that
government money means government control.  Government takes
money from its citizens through involuntary taxation to support
its welfare-state, which includes government schools, and then,
with the money it has stolen, controls the people by forcing them
to be part of its system, whether they want to be or not, and also
controls the people who run that system. 

School itself is not
voluntary, but is compulsory at least up to a certain age under
the police powers of the states. If you have any doubt as to the
utter evil and wickedness that holds this system together, just
try ignoring it as though it didn't exist and carry on with your
happy life at home with your children and see what happens. If a
social worker comes knocking at your door accompanied by a local
police officer to advise you to either put your child in school
or comply with the compulsory school attendance law by going down
to the school board office to fill out whatever paperwork your particular
state requires for homeschooling, tell her that you have retained
your right to educate your child at home and that the state's home
study laws are of no effect in light of the 9th and 10th
amendments to the US Constitution. Go with your heart and continue
on with your happy life at home; believe that God will protect you
and your children. This is a free nation, after all, and one has
the right to be secure in one's home and raise one's children to
be happy and free without unwarranted intrusion from the state.

While compulsory school
attendance laws and the subsidiary homeschooling laws have always
been under the province of the states, federal legislation such
as the No Child Left Behind Act ultimately places all public schools
under the control of the federal government. Yes, that would be
the same federal government which is currently waging illegal war
in Iraq. 

In light of all the
above, it's been somewhat of a puzzle to me why any school administrator
or state politician would be complaining about the intrusiveness
of the federal government with its No Child Left Behind Act in all
its questionable glory when their very own states have intrusive
laws concerning education (any law which involves compulsory school
attendance is intrusive). It's even more of a puzzle to me why any
mother is surprised when military recruiters call her home to speak
to her teenager after obtaining information about him from his high
school.  He's in a government school? What, after all, did
she think government was all about? Santa Claus?

Don't get me wrong.
It's good, of course, for folks to complain about the provisions
of the No Child Left Behind Act, and it's good for parents to have
their children opted out before their high schools fork over their
personal data to military recruiters. But if they would dig just
a little deeper into the way this whole thing is set up in the first
place, maybe we would finally start getting somewhere. 

As has been
said before, a nation's foreign policy is merely an extension and
outgrowth of its domestic policy.  What is wrong domestically
is intrusive government at every level that wields power for the
purpose of maintaining itself — sometimes destroying families
and individuals in the process — rather than protecting the
rights of the people…as is its job.  That misuse of power
is not going to evaporate merely by filling out an opt-out form
and giving it to your child's school.  It might be a good idea
for parents with children in high school to not leave that detail
undone right now, but it's not going to exclude your son from the
requirement to register for the Selective Service when he turns
18; it's not going to prevent your daughter from being drafted if,
God forbid, the currently written draft bill ever passes.

I stand for the call
to bring the troops home and the sooner the better (right now would
be good), but that's not enough either because if there's not a
complete about-face in the direction of the US government's foreign
policy, these unnecessary and invasive wars are going to keep happening
over and over again, and our children and grandchildren are going
to keep dying.    

If we want our country
and world to be truly peaceful and free, we must begin with the
children and put an end to the greatest domestic intrusion of all,
which is compulsory school attendance and government control of
the schools.  If we can free
our homes
and families and schools from the dead hand of the
State, perhaps from there we can also find the way to correct the
criminally destructive foreign policy of the US government which
has made America into a rogue nation in the eyes of the rest of
the world…as well as in the eyes of many of its own citizens right
here at home.

If you don't
want military recruiters calling up your son or daughter, it makes
sense to go ahead and fill out the opt-out form or send a letter
to your teenager's high school to request that his name, address,
and telephone number be withheld from military recruiters. But don't
trust that that's going to be the end of it once and for all. What
is needed beyond that is an awakening to full consciousness of the
American people across the country and an organic movement of liberty
from both the left and the right to chain down this American monstrosity
before it chokes and destroys us all. 


15, 2005

Clark [send her email] is
a former US Army criminal investigator, a member of Veterans For
Peace, and a researcher for Antiwar.com.  She is the mother
of two children, now in college and high school, who she homeschooled
to the ages of 11 and 6 at which time they were taken from her
by court order and placed in public school due to her non-compliance
with the home study provision of the Georgia compulsory school attendance

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