Newburgh parent: Releasing student information to military recruiters is breach of privacy

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Tabitha Walker, of Newburgh, tells News 12 that she is concerned about a federal law requiring schools to release student information to military recruiters.

Walker recently received a letter from the Newburgh Enlarged City School District about the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires public schools to give out student names, addresses and phone numbers to recruiters and scouts on request unless a parent opts out.

"If you want to sign up for the military, you should do it freely of your own will," she told News 12.

A representative for Newburgh schools says the letter was sent out in accordance with the law and that the requirement is designed to give all students equal opportunities beyond high school.

Critics disagree, saying student privacy is at risk.

"If you don't get the letter, the information is freely given,” says Walker. “If parents aren't aware, they can't do anything about it."

According to an Army National Guard recruiter in Newburgh, student information is regularly requested from schools each year. Districts like Middletown and Minisink say parents are advised of their option to opt out in a welcome packet before school begins.

Parents in Newburgh have until Oct. 31 to opt out of their child's information being released.

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