Thursday, March 24, 2011

Student Parent Privacy Act drops in state house and senate!

Because of No Child Left Behind, all public high school students' contact information is sent to military recruiters by default, without their knowledge or consent. Students can technically opt out of this, but they are not informed of that fact so most don't know how to do it, or even that they can at all, and so it doesn't happen by the deadline. Their private information is handed over--then they start getting call after call from military recruiters, sometimes daily.

HB 567, the Student Parent Privacy Act, would allow students an opportunity to opt out of having their info sent to recruiters. The simple bill, only a few paragraphs long, would require schools to notify students and parents that their info will be sent to recruiters unless they choose to opt out. On the same form, they could indicate their wish to opt out; they could then return the form to the school, which would forward it to the board of education, causing those students' info to be kept private. The bill was introduced in both the state House and state Senate this week and is currently in the Education Committee of the house and the Education and Youth committee of the Senate.

It is a violation of privacy to hand over minors' contact information, essentially to advertizers, who will then pester them nonstop.

Please call your state representative and state senator to tell them to support HB 567. You can go to and type in your address to find your state legislators' contact information. If your legislators start hearing from their own constituents it will make a huge difference! The bill is so common sense, it would be hard for any legislator, Republican or Democrat, to oppose: how can you object to informing people before giving out their phone numbers?

Please call your legislators and urge them to support HB 567. Here's an example of what you could say:

"I'm a constituent of ________, calling to urge them to support HB 567, the Student Parent Privacy Act. The bill would prevent students' contact information from being given to military recruiters without their knowledge or consent. It is important to protect minors' privacy. It would be a simple matter for schools to send a form home with students giving them this important notice and allowing them an easy way to control their private information. This bill is just common sense. Can I count on him/her to vote yes on HB 567?"

If each legislator gets even a few calls from their own constituents, that will be a huge step toward getting this bill passed.

Below is a list of the phone numbers of every member of the Education committees of the house and senate. They are supposed to represent the entire state when acting as committee members, so they need to hear from you too! Pick one on the list or call a few:

State Senate

Education and Youth Committee Members

Fran Millar (Chairman) (404) 463-2260

William Ligon, Jr. (Vice Chairman) (404) 656-0045

Jesse Stone (Secretary) (404) 463-1314

John Albers (404) 463-8055

Vincent Fort (404) 656-5091

Donzella James (404) 463-1379

Freddie Powell Sims (404) 463-5259

Horacena Tate (404) 463-8053

Lindsey Tippins (404) 657-0406

Tommie Williams (404) 656-0089

Bill Jackson (404) 651-7738

Chip Rogers (404) 463-1378

State House

Education Committee Members

Brooks Coleman (Chair) 404.656.9210

David Casas (Vice Chair) 404.656.0254

Tommy Benton (Secretary) 404.656.0177

Tom Dickson 404.463.2247

Kathy Ashe 404.656.0116

Rick Austin 404.656.0287

Paul Battles 404.656.0152

Amy Carter 404.651.7737

Mike Dudgeon 404.656.0298

Terry England 404.463.2245

Hugh Floyd 404.656.0314

Wayne Howard 404.656.6372

Jan Jones 404.656.5072

Margaret Kaiser 404.656.0265

Edward Lindsey 404.656.5024

Howard Maxwell 404.656.5143

Rahn Mayo 404.656.6372

Randy Nix 404.656.0177

Ann Purcell 404.656.5139

Barbara Massey Reece 404.656.7859

Ed Setzler 404.656.0177

Willie Talton 404.656.5116

Rashad Taylor 404.656.0220

Sam Teasley 404.656.0177

Brian Thomas 404.656.0220

Andy Welch 404.656.0109 get your legislators' contact info.
Read the bill on the legislature's website.

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