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. WARNING: DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!!!
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.
December 15, 2005