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Update from The mob...
This update is on the long side, but you've made so much happen, and so creatively, that we couldn't help it!
You Pushed Back for Privacy, We're Winning: Schools On Board
Since the launch of Leave My Child Alone in May, you have held more than 500 Leave My Child Alone events in 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. You put on ice cream socials, made radio ads, designed fliers, produced shows on local access TV, held rallies, got op-eds published, met with your elected officials, spoke at PTA meetings, showed the movie, hosted potlucks, went to school board meetings, and gave opt-out forms at football games. You got the NEA on board, the national PTA, you wrote resolutions with your local Dem clubs, brought your ACLU chapters in, dogged reluctant principals, and stood tall at Back-to-School Nights. Some of you are now looking at runs for school board! It is an utterly impressive batch of activity, far beyond our hopes back in May.
Press Gets Word Out; Coalition of Experienced & New; Beyond Opt Out
You added to the momentum by getting useful coverage in local media, and speaking up in the national press. You brought long-time counter recruitment pros together with the newly outraged -- and made good things happen. Now many of you are digging deeper, getting schools to tell students the ASVAB test is optional. Researching "Equal Access" rules guaranteeing the right to present alternatives on campus. Asking schools for guidelines on recruiters' campus access. And working now to get JAMRS opt out information publicized by schools to their students.
Military $teps It Up; Parents Go Local
Against the intensive pressure of a $4 billion recruiting budget, an upcoming Army ad budget of $1 billion, and a military that just had to report missing their year end recruiting goals, it's timely that families take such creative and bold actions to protect their children's privacy. You can bet this pressure is only going to grow, but because of your efforts and the work of other parents, students, educators and journalists, big change has happened fast. Accelerating citizen involvement has prompted school districts around the country to:
Adopt resolutions protecting family privacy
Send opt out forms home for the first time ever
Add opt out to their emergency cards
Move opt out deadlines back
Change from punitive "blanket opt out" policies to good policies
Allow students to opt themselves off the lists
Move to include JAMRS opt out information in registration packets
Opt Out Rates Jump When People Know
Once people mobilize in their school communities, opt out rates are jumping from an average rate of 3.7% among schools surveyed, up to 48%, 63%, even 92%! It's patently clear that when families have access to this information, they take action. And when they take action, school districts notice. Here are two examples from many, many similar stories:
"Last night the Superintendent of the school district (more than 33,000 students) announced that for the first time ever an opt-out form was being mailed out to every junior and senior student. The Superintendent has received a ton of calls from local parents concerned about the right to opt-out and military recruitment...Office assistants have already reported that opt-out rates are way up, even before the sending of these forms."
"After educating myself on your website about the military recruitment opt out provision of the No Child Left Behind Act, I generated the opt-out form letter on your website for my son’s high school. The school was very grateful to have a parent request that district-wide notification be sent out about the “opt out