The British navy used to use trapdoors in barrooms to capture recruits to maintain its colonial empire. The U.S. military doesn't need these tricks. It has No Child Left Behind.
Section 9528, the 300 or so words buried within the act's 670 pages, cement militarism in public schools. This section's provisions funnel private student data such as telephone numbers and home addresses into the Pentagon for military recruitment purposes and also mandate access for military recruiters to students in public secondary schools.
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have dragged on, recruiters have become increasingly aggressive on campus. Data from student information provided via Section 9528 are used for recruiter home visits and repetitive phone calls to students. Military recruiters also use high-pressure sales techniques, flashy videos, and eye-candy trinkets, and bring he-man danger mobiles such as Hummers and helicopters onto school grounds to attract students, especially young males.
At the beginning of this school year, the Los Angeles-based Coalition Against Militarism In Our Schools (CAMS), a group that I work with, decided to get the word out about Section 9528.
As NCLB reauthorization neared, we began spreading the word about Section 9528 to the blogosphere, via e-mails, websites, and letter writing campaigns to congressional representatives. In contacts with legislators, we encouraged activists to express the need to carefully review the excesses of NCLB, and to eliminate Section 9528 from any NCLB reauthorization.