Darla Swift, Cherokee County, said a stranger called her house a few weeks ago asking for her 16-year-old daughter.
“The first thing was, is Robin there? Didn’t even include her last name, it was very casual, and I really thought it was one of the boys who call occasionally,” Swift said. “So I’m like, who’s calling? And the person said it’s the U.S. Army, and I’m thinking this is a joke, alright, who’s calling? He goes, ‘It’s the Army.’”
The local Army recruiter found her daughter’s information on a list provided by her high school.
“I really was taken by surprise because she is so young, and after deliberating on it, I came to the conclusion, I don’t like them cold calling my teenage daughter,” Swift said.
“To ultimately put people in the Army, we have to make contacts,” said Maj. Dave Weis of the Atlanta recruiting battalion, and said cold calls were an important part of the recruiting process.
Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, all public schools are required to give the armed forces a list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of high school juniors and seniors every year to avoid losing federal funding. The law allows parents to have their child removed from the list.
A student or parent wishing to protect privacy must actively contact the school to opt out and protect their personal information. In some districts, it can be difficult to withhold information specifically from recruiters, yet still allow this information to be used for other purposes that parents and students may approve of, such as honor rolls or school TV shows.
Write a letter to your child’s principal saying that you don’t want your information released to the armed forces or download a opt-out form here that you can fill out and deliver to the school.
Here is the full US Military School Recruitment Handbook in PDF format.