Protect Students from Invasive Recruiting

On March 6, 2007, I introduced The Student Privacy Protection Act of 2007 (HR 1346), legislation that will restore the privacy rights of children and families that were taken away by a little-known provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the so-called No Child Left Behind Act.

Under No Child Left Behind, high schools are required to turn over lists of student contact information to the Department of Defense, which adds this information to an extensive database of children.

The Department of Defense claims to need this information for recruiting purposes, because it enables recruiters to contact children directly in their homes, which is often done without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

Constituents of mine brought this matter to my attention in 2005, expressing frustration that their children were persistently being contacted at home by military recruiters. They wanted to know how the military gained access to their personal contact information without their consent. As a former high school teacher and principal, I am concerned that the fundamental right of privacy has been taken away from both parents and children.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis defined privacy as "the right to be left alone."