The Youth Manifesto Campaign & JAMRS Opt Out
You Have The Right to Protect Your Privacy!
There are several ways that the military collects your personal information without your consent. You have the right to protect your privacy by opting out of two military recruting databases—JAMRS and No Child Left Behind (see below). In addition, the military also collects your information through the ASVAB test (Armed Services Vocational Battery) which many schools offer, or even require. For more information about this insidious recruiting tool, please see check out the National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy.
JAMRS stands for the "Joint Advertising Market Research Studies." The JAMRS database is funded by the Department of Defense with the goal of maximizing military recruitment efforts. It is a massive registry of 30 million Americans between the ages of 15.5 and 25 that includes information such as your name, date of birth, gender, mailing address, email address, race and ethnicity, telephone number, high school name, graduation date, Grade Point Average, college intent, military interest, field of study, and the ASVAB Test score. JAMRS will sell your information to military recruiters... UNLESS YOU OPT OUT! Successful local campaigns have gotten several school districts to start including JAMRS opt out forms in their high school registration packets. Your school district could be next! See how we did it in Oakland below.
NOTE ( March 2014): JAMRS has recently changed their address (without providing forwarding info for the old address, so please note the new information. Here's the updated info. Please note that there are two databases that you will need to opt out of: "Recruting Database" and "Survey Database."
Individuals, who are 15½ years old or older, or parents or legal guardians acting on behalf of individuals who are between the ages of 15½ and 18 years old, seeking to have their name or the name of their child or ward, as well as other identifying data, removed from this system of records (or removed in the future when such information is obtained) should address written OptOut requests to the Joint Advertising, Marketing Research & Studies (JAMRS), ATTN: OptOut, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 06J25, Alexandria, VA 22350-4000. Such requests must contain the full name, date of birth, and current address of the individual.
OptOut requests will be honored for ten years. However, because optout screening is based, in part, on the current address of the individual, any change in address will require the submission of a new optout request with the new address.
Source: Federal Register /Vol. 72, No. 5 / January 9, 2007 (FR Doc E6-21942).
Individuals, who are 15½ years old or older, or parents or legal guardians acting on behalf of individuals who are between the ages of 15½ and 18 years old, seeking to have their name or the name of their child or ward, as well as other identifying data, removed from this system of records (or removed in the future when such information is obtained), should address written Opt-Out requests to Joint Advertising, Marketing Research & Studies (JAMRS), ATTN: Survey Project Officer, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Suite 06J25, Alexandria, VA 22350-4000. Such requests must contain the full name, date of birth, and current address of the individual.
Opt-Out requests will be honored until the individual is no longer eligible for recruitment. However, because opt-out screening is based, in part, on the current address of the individual, any change in address will require the submission of a new opt-out request with the new address.
Source: Federal Register /Vol. 73, No. 142 / July 23, 2008 (FR Doc E8-16733).
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law was passed by the Bush Administration in 2001. It promotes high stakes testing for schools that receive Federal Funding. It also forces high schools to turn over students personal contact information to military recruiters... UNLESS YOU OPT OUT.
How did we win Student Privacy policies in Oakland?
With lots of time, lots of patience and lots of help!
First, the BAY-Peace Youth Action Team recognized that low income youth of color are targeted by the $5 billion military recruiting apparatus, and decided to fight back, starting with our schools. We got help from our friends at AYPAL to learn about organizing a campaign. Youth poets from I-Go led us through the process of creating a first draft of our poetic Youth Manifesto petition.
We Kicked off our campaign in May 2008 and created a timeline that was re-adjusted at least a dozen times since. We began collecting signatures and organizational endorsements and created a video to help get the word out. If you haven’t seen the video, check it out below.
By the close of the campaign, we had well over 1000 individual signers and the endorsement of the following groups: American Friends Service Committee (our partner organization), All City Council (OUSD), Alternatives to Militarism through Information and Empowerment, Asian Youth Promoting Advocacy and Leadership, Californians for Justice, Courage to Resist, East Bay Peace Action, Fellowship of Reconcilliation, Full Picture, Idriss Stelley Action and Resource Center, Iraq Veterans Against the War (SF Bay Area), Veterans for Peace (SF Bay Area), Women of Color Resource Center, and Youth Together.
Meanwhile, we began to craft the Youth Manifesto poetic petition into a formal resolution, and consulted with Board members both individually and at numerous Board meetings. Finally, the Student Privacy and Equal Access Resolution was ready for action!
On February 24th we organized a Resource Fair & Youth Manifesto Rally where we debuted a skit titled “Targets Have No Privacy” that dramatized the issues in the campaign. To view a video of the skit, please use the link below. We also got creative with our 1000+ signed manifestos, folding many of them into origami cranes and taping the rest into a 200 foot long banner that we delivered to the Oakland School Board that evening.
And finally, on May 12th, 2010—almost three years after we first began imagining a campaign to defend Oakland students against aggressive military recruiting in our schools—we had the satisfaction of knowing the the OUSD Board of Education was willing to take a stand to protect Student Privacy and Equal Access! Since that time, the School Boards in San Francsico and Berkeley have passed similar Student Privacy resolutions that give students the right to opt out of JAMRS, as has a district in the suburbs of Chicago. Thanks again to everyone who worked with us to make this day possible.
PS: We could really use your support to help us continue to serve Oakland youth in the years to come. Would you consider sending us a tax-deductible donation today to keep us strong for tomorrow? Use the link below to connect with the secure PayPal account of our fiscal sponsor, Peace Development Fund.
Would you like to bring the Youth Manifesto to your school district? Let us know how we can help.
If you have questions or comments, email email@example.com or call 510-863-1737
Text of the BAY-Peace Youth Manifesto
(Text of the Student Privacy and Equal Access Resolution follows.)
—Youth should be the highest priority of the nation and the allocation of resources should reflect this.
—The dignity, goodness and leadership of young people should be honored and nurtured.
—No one should have to be willing to kill in order to advance themselves.
—It is unfair that recruiters target the poor and communities of color.
—Military recruiters should not be given access to students’ personal information without the students’ and parents’ permission.
—Youth should have the power to make decisions that will affect their lives.
—To help create the world I have always dreamed of.
—Education to receive more federal funds than war.
—More leadership and alternatives to violence programs in my school.
—Health care and services that broaden the options of everyone in my community.
—The right to be myself and do what I want, unlimited by discriminatory policies.
—Military recruiters out of my school and community.
Therefore I Demand…
—That every high school student emergency card include an option for families to “opt out” of being contacted by military recruiters.
—That a JAMRS* Opt Out form be included in every high school student’s registration packet to prevent private companies from collecting student information for the purpose of military recruitment.
—That military recruiters have no greater access to high school students than any other potential employer, and that students have equal access to alternative perspectives.
—That the ASVAB* test not be given during school hours unless another non-military vocational test is offered at the same time and parents permission is given.
—That the School District open bidding to non-military programs to provide leadership and physical education training at the same cost as the current JROTC* program.
—That the School District work with the city to make more non-military extra curricular and job training resources available for youth, and that youth be given a meaningful voice in the allocation of such resources.
* JAMRS = Joint Advertising Market Research and Studies
* ASVAB = Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery,
* JROTC = Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps
This Manifesto was created with the input of dozens of youth through a series of workshops at various youth conferences through the Spring of 2008.
We invite you to modify it or use it as is in your own school district.
Text of the Student Privacy and Equal Access Resolution
Presented by the BAY-Peace Youth Action Team —February 24, 2010
Adopted by the OUSD Board of Education—May 12, 2010
Whereas: The military spends $4 billion per year for recruiting purposes, allowing them to overshadow other youth employment programs and educational institutions, and
Whereas: The current economic crisis has made low-income students even more susceptible to military recruiters’ promises of financial support, and
Whereas: Oakland students report feeling targeted by military recruitment, because military recruiters visit their schools more often than other potential employers or college recruiters (1), and
Whereas: The Board of Education affirmed the Oakland Unified School District’s commitment to protect student privacy by passing BP 5125.1, which sets policy on the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Opt-Out form, on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, and on equal access for military and non-military recruiters, and
Whereas: Students expect that by signing the No Child Left Behind opt out form, their personal information will not be turned over to military recruiters, and
Whereas: Many Oakland students and administrators still do not even know about the No Child Left Behind opt-out form (2) and almost none know that their personal information is also being collected by JAMRS and sold to the military, and
Whereas: Military recruiters often visit OUSD schools without prior notification, in violation of BP 5125.1, and
Whereas: The ASVAB test has been given in Oakland schools in violation of BP 5125.1 (3) and
Whereas: It is in the best interest of Oakland youth that the School District strengthen its collaboration with the city to make more non-military extra curricular and job training resources available for youth, and that youth be given a meaningful voice in the allocation of such resources.
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the OUSD Board of Education request a public reporting on the implementation of BP 5125.1 in Oakland high schools, and
Therefore be it further resolved that the NCLB opt out form be added to the high school student emergency card, and
Therefore, be it further resolved that the JAMRS Opt Out form(4) be included in every high school student’s registration packet, and
Therefore, be it further resolved that informational assemblies be held at the beginning of each year to inform students of their right to sign both the NCLB and JAMRS opt out forms, and signed forms be collected and dispatched appropriately, and
Therefore, be it further resolved that both the NCLB and JAMRS opt out forms be made visibly available in every high school's main office throughout the school year4, and
Therefore, be it further resolved that high school Principals enforce an equal access policy that prohibits military recruiters from visiting Oakland campuses more often than other potential employers or college recruiters, and
Therefore, be it further resolved that the OUSD Board of Education continue to support ongoing efforts to develop collaboration between youth leaders from all relevant OUSD and City of Oakland Boards as well as non-governmental youth organizations (including, but not limited to, All City Council, Youth Commission, Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, Measure Y, etc.) to strengthen youth voice in the allocation of resources for extra curricular and job training programs for Oakland students.
1. BAY-Peace interviews with students at various Oakland high schools.
2. BAY-Peace interviews with administrators and students at various Oakland high schools.
3. Military Entrance Processing and Command, as reported in the Philadelphia Enquirer, 8/5/08.
4. See sample JAMRS Opt Out letter at the New York Civil Liberties Union website.
The BAY-Peace Youth Action Team is now teaching a 10-week workshop series at Emiliano Zapata Street Academy high school. We hope to begin at ARISE high school soon.
In addition, we have a number of different one-time workshops that are available for your classroom or community group. Topics include the myths and realities of military enlistment, conscientious objection and resisting militarism and war, BAY-Peace offers youth-led interactive workshops and the curriculum we are developing for the Spring will emphasize creative expression as well as factual information. Please contact BAY-Peace today to schedule a presentation! 510-863-1737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be posting curriculum to this website over the next couple months, but until that happens, you are welcome to contact us to request our materials.