"Opting Out"

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

Washoe County School District decided to extend the deadline for parent's to "opt out" of the directory until November 23rd.
But, some parents say the district has not done enough to educate parents about this decision.

Pual Dugan, the Superintendent for the district, says they are following federal policy.
"The policy is that all parents shall be afforded the opportunity of the requirement of having their child's name released to military recruiters."

According to the US Department of Education's No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, schools receiving funding because of the act have to provide military recruiters the same access to public high school students as given to higher education or prospective employers.
However, parents of juniors and seniors are allowed to "opt out" of the list each year.

But, some parents say this is still not enough.
Laura Fillmore's son is a sophomore in Douglas County.
While he may not be affected now, she says she knows the opportunity for her son to get recruited is coming soon.
"I really feel strongly that there should be a separation between our military and our educational system. Educating students is a glorious thing... to hook that up with military recruitment is a kind of distortion of the purpose of education in my mind."

The district says they did notify parents about the option in the back-to-school issue of the Parents newsletter, and forms were also sent to all high schools.
They still decided to extend the deadline from October 1st to November 23rd because of concerns raised by local parents.

But, local army recruiters say the "opt out" option only benefits their policies.
Nationally, the army has struggled to meet recruiting projections.
Locally, Sgt. Harold Hunt with the US Army Recruiting, says they are signing up about 10 new recruits a month with an average age of 21-to-23.
"As a veteran recruiter, I prefer it. Because the opt out option... usually the ones who are going to take it are those who are not interested whatsoever in military service. If they're still young like that, we still want to incorporate their parents into the decision making process for that young man or young woman."

Parents in Washoe County can get an "opt out" waiver at your child's high school or on-line at the district's website.
The deadline for Douglas County remains the same, and parents have until this Friday to turn in the "opt out" waivers.


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