Last Updated on August 15, 2022 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, Sacramento California Expulsion, Special Education, sports/CIF, College, Education and School Attorney/Lawyer for Students since 1995
Some people have strong opinions on the United States military, good or bad. All parents need to be aware that if military recruiters ask a public high school for student information, schools will provide this information unless the parent (or student at 18) opts out.
Similar disclosures to military recruiters may or may not occur in private high schools, depending on the school.
What Information Schools May Provide the Military
Per federal law, high schools may give military recruiters who request it, a high school student’s name, address and phone number.
How to Opt Out of Military Recruiter Disclosures
Parents have a legal right to opt out of these disclosures to military recruiters. Such opt out requests must be in writing.
The United States Code (20 USC 7908) states:
A parent of a secondary school student may submit a written request, to the local educational agency, that the student’s name, address, and telephone listing not be released… without prior written consent of the parent. Upon receiving such request, the local educational agency may not release the student’s name, address, and telephone listing for such purposes without the prior written consent of the parent.
So, to opt out, all a parent has to do is submit a written opt out request to the student’s school district (or whatever entity oversees the school). A copy should also be sent to the student’s high school.
Parents should keep a copy of the request.
What Does A School Have to Do After Opt Out?
Once a parent submits a written opt out request for a student, the school district has to withhold the student’s contact information from military recruiters.
While the student is a minor, the only way for a school district to change this, is to obtain written consent from the parent, or for a parent to withdraw their opt out request.
Parent Follow Up
Parents should follow up on their request with the school district, to be sure it was received and nothing more is needed to exempt the student from disclosures.
If additional steps are necessary, such as sending a copy to the county office of education, school board, or otherwise, the parent should take these additional steps promptly.
Military Access to Campus
Military recruiters are also to be given access to school campuses, similar to colleges.
So, if a college can set up a booth, so can the army, navy, marines or other armed forces, looking for students to join them. A parent cannot opt a student out of this general access.
Right to Opt Out Passes to Student at Eighteen
Once a student turns eighteen, the parental opt out no longer applies. The student will have to file a new opt out request on their own behalf, if they do not want military recruiters getting their information.
If the student does not file it, their information can be disclosed to military recruiters, regardless of a past parental opt out.
The student should keep a copy of their submission. They should also follow up on their request to ensure no additional steps are needed.
Private Schools May Not Have to Provide Military Data, But It Depends
A private school that does not receive federal funds, or one which objects to military service (under certain conditions), may not have to provide information to military recruiters.
If a parent is in doubt whether their private school has to give military recruiters student information, the parent can simply submit a military recruiter opt out request to the school’s governing body. They can also send a copy to the school and follow up as needed.
Sending this should ensure that even if a private school may not currently have to furnish military recruiters with student information, if the school’s status changes, the school still won’t produce the student’s information.
Michelle Ball is a student attorney and advocate who helps parents submit opt outs, fight expulsions, and handle many more school problems. As a lawyer centrally located in Sacramento California, she can assist across the Golden State in Roseville, Loomis, Ventura, Hollywood, and many other places.