Thursday, August 7, 2008

Reminder: Austin School District Policy re. Recruiting on Campus

The new 2008/09 school year will soon begin. Here is an important reminder:

On June 12, 2006, the board of trustees of the Austin Independent School District approved a new policy that places limits on access by military recruiters on school campuses.

1. All recruiters will check in at the school's administration office and get a visitor badge every time they go onto school property.

2. Specific areas will be designated by the principal on each campus for recruiting purposes.

3. No on-going contact shall occur when students make clear by their speech or other conduct that contact with a recruiter is unwelcome.

4. Evidence of a parent's/guardian's intent to provide directory information upon request shall be respected. [See Policy FL LEGAL] (This refers to the new opt-out provision on the SR-290 form. See below.)

5. The ASVAB test (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) shall be administered pursuant to the same terms and conditions as other aptitude tests administered within the District. (ASVAB testing is voluntary and should never be presented as compulsory. Students who have opted out of sharing directory information (Form SR-290) should be excluded from any such testing or other contact with the military in the absence of explicit written parental permission.)

6. Recruiting of any kind shall not occur in a manner, time and place that disrupts classroom instruction. Recruiting in a classroom or other designated space is acceptable only if upon the invitation of authorized school personnel and part of a school-approved program.

7. Schools will allow information regarding recruiting, including recruiting by the military, and those advocating alternatives to the military, to be made available to students in an equivalent manner and location.

NOTE: Point # 4 of the new policy refers to a clear opt-out provision for parents/guardians to withhold their directory information from military recruiters while allowing the information to be made available to college reps or other organizations that request it.
AISD officials have added a new section under "Directory Information" on the new SR-290 form that parents/guardians are asked to fill out in the fall. The wording on the new SR-290 form for 2006-07 is as follows:
There are two boxes in the Directory Information section. On the left is a box where parents can sign either "I GIVE" or "I DO NOT GIVE" "permission to release directory information."
On the right side is the same kind of box reading "I GIVE" or "I DO NOT GIVE" "permission to release student directory information to military recruiters."

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