FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why is Georgia Secretly Giving Student Test Scores to Military Recruiters?

by AZADEH SHAHSHAHANI

In 2006, Marlyn, a mother who lives in Gwinnett County with her children, was surprised to hear that her son Kyle, a senior at Brookwood High School, had taken the ASVAB test.   ASVAB or the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test is the military’s entrance exam, given to recruits to determine their aptitude for military occupations.  Marlyn does not recall consenting to her son’s taking of the test or for the results to be sent to military recruiters.  Her son did not know either that the results will be sent to recruiters.  Kyle was subsequently contacted by recruiters and Marlyn had a tough time getting them to stop once Kyle had made a college selection.

Marlyn and Kyle are certainly not alone.  In fact, Georgia’s record in terms of protecting the privacy of students who take the ASVAB test has gotten even worse over the years.

With the start of the school year, the ACLU Foundation of Georgia sent a letter to Georgia’s State School Superintendent, Dr. Barge, asking for protection of privacy rights of Georgia’s high school students who take the ASVAB.  Even without a student’s or parent’s consent, the ASVAB test may be used to send highly sensitive information about a student to the military for purposes of recruitment.  After the administration of the ASVAB test, military representatives may directly communicate with youth to suggest military career paths, based on the individualized profiles ascertained from their test data.

U.S. Military Entrance Processing Command (USMEPCOM) Regulation 601-4 identifies the options schools may choose regarding the administration and release of their students’ ASVAB results.  These options include Option 8, which provides high schools and their students with the students’ test results, but does not entail automatically sending the results to military recruiters.

In its letter, the ACLU of Georgia asks that a state-wide policy that requires schools to protect such information be adopted in Georgia, specifically, a policy that requires the selection of option 8 by school officials.

States such as Maryland and Hawaii and cities such as New York City have required that their public schools respect student privacy by enacting laws and policies in which schools must choose Option 8 when the ASVAB test is administered.

In documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy, not a single high school in Georgia selected option 8 during the 2010-2011 school year, while the ASVAB test results of more than 26,000 students was marked by Options 1-6, meaning test results and student information may be released to recruiters without prior consent.  The data for 2011 covering more than 29,000 students indicates the same.

If school officials do not select a release option, the school’s Educational Support Specialist will select Option 1 which entails automatically releasing the information to military recruiters.  In 2009-2010, 83.9% of the children in Georgia were tested under Option 1.  This percentage had increased to 87.7% of Georgia’s students in 2010-2011.

This lack of protection for students’ privacy also contravenes the obligations of the U.S. government and the State of Georgia under international law.

The U.S. ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict in 2002.  The Protocol is therefore binding on the U.S. government and state and local government entities and agents, including Georgia public schools.

As part of the treaty mechanism, the U.S. has to submit a report every four years to the Committee on Rights of the Child (CRC), the United Nations body that monitors compliance with the Optional Protocol.

The U.S. government’s latest report to the CRC will be reviewed by the Committee in January 2013.  The list of issues to be discussed during this review includes the use of the ASVAB test in schools including the age of children who were given this test and whether parents have the possibility to prevent their children from taking it.

We hope that this will be an opportunity for the U.S. government and Georgia schools to provide needed transparency and to be held accountable to their international obligations as well as obligations to protect the privacy of Georgia students.

Azadeh Shahshahani is the Director of the National Security/Immigrants’ Rights Project at the ACLU of Georgia. She is the president-elect of the National Lawyers’ Guild.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life
Patrick Cockburn
The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan
Kenneth Surin
The Neoliberal Stranglehold on the American Public University
Lawrence Davidson
Is There a Future for the Democratic Party?
Douglas Valentine
Who Killed MLK Jr?
Robert Fisk
The Foreign Correspondent in the Age of Twitter and Trump
Dale Bryan
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
David Swanson
The Deep State Wants to Deep Six Us
Dan Bacher
Obama Administration Orders Speedy Completion of Delta Tunnels Plan
Mark Weisbrot
Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera are Compensated
Winslow Myers
The Light of the World
Bruce Mastron
My Latest Reason to Boycott the NFL: Guns
Weekend Edition
January 13, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Gregory Elich
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Jeffrey St. Clair
The President Who Wasn’t There: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Impotence
Anthony DiMaggio
Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics
Joshua Frank
Farewell Obummer, Hello Golden Showers
Paul Street
Hit the Road, Barack: Some Farewell Reflections
Vijay Prashad
After Aleppo: the State of Syria
John Wight
Russia Must be Destroyed: John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier
Rob Urie
Meet the Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
The Russian Dossier Reminds Me of the Row Over Saddam’s WMDs
Eric Sommer
U.S.-China War: a Danger Hidden from the American People
Andrew Levine
Are Democrats Still the Lesser Evil?
Linda Pentz Gunter
What’s Really Behind the Indian Point Nuclear Deal?
Robert Fantina
Trucks, ‘Terror’ and Israel
Richard Moser
Universal Values are Revolutionary Values
Russell Mokhiber
Build the Bagdikian Wall: “Sponsored News” at the Washington Post
Yoav Litvin
Establishment Narcissism – The Democrats’ Game of Thrones
David Rosen
Return of the Repressed: Trump & the Revival of the Culture Wars
Robert Koehler
War Consciousness and the F-35
Rev. William Alberts
The New Smell of McCarthyism Demands Faith Leaders Speak Truth to Power
John Laforge
Federal Regulator Halts Move to Toughen Radiation Exposure Limits
Norman Pollack
Farewell Address: Nazification of Hope
David Swanson
Imagine the Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of Peace
CJ Hopkins
Why Ridiculous Official Propaganda Still Works
Ron Jacobs
Striking in Reagan Time
Missy Comley Beattie
The Streep
Graham Peebles
Climate Change: The Potential Impacts of Collective Inaction
Uri Avnery
Confessions of a Megalomaniac
Kenneth Worles
Black Without a Home: King’s Dream Still Deferred
Geoff Dutton
The Russian Patsy
Jill Richardson
The Coming War on Regulations
Jeremy Brecher
Resisting the Trump Agenda is Social Self-Defense
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail