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

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail