Military Recruitment of High School Students
In 2004 we had an inquiry from a Friend of AHEM concerning military recruitment of high school students. She had been alerted by an article in Mother Jones ("No Child Unrecruited" by David Goodman, November/December 2002) explaining that Congress passed two pieces of legislation requiring local schools that receive federal funding to provide military recruiters with students' names, addresses and phone numbers, (aka "directory information"), or risk losing funding.
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a school must provide notice to parents of the kind of information they give out freely, along with notice that parents may opt out of this information being given out. It seems unclear whether homeschoolers' information would be given out as a general rule or not. If one never receives notice from the school that such information is given out, one can't be sure whether that is because they are not providing your information to the military, or because they just didn't send you the letter to tell you that you can opt out.
One thing you can do is call your superintendent's office, and ask them what they do in your town. Concerned parents of Massachusetts homeschoolers of secondary school age who want to be sure to cover all bases might decide to submit in writing to their superintendent that they opt out of having any information disclosed to the military. The following wording suggestion comes from the FERPA Model Notice for Directory Information:
"I do not want [School District] to disclose directory information from my child's education records to any outside organizations, including but not limited to military recruiters, without my prior written consent. This includes any of the following information that [School District] may have designated as directory information: Student's name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors, and awards received, the most recent educational agency or institution attended."
A June 23, 2005 Washington Post article http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/22/AR2005062202305.html reported on the creation of a database which would collect even more private information about high school students ages 16 to 18 and all college students for the purpose of military recruiting, including full name, date of birth, gender, address, city, state, zip code, and where available Social Security Number (SSN), email address, ethnicity, telephone number, high school name, graduation date, Grade Point Average (GPA) code, education level, college intent (if documented), military interest (if documented), field of study, current college attending, ASVAB Test date, and ASVAB Armed Forces Qualifying Test Category Score. Information would be drawn by using commercial data brokers, state drivers' license records, and other sources. Particularly disturbing to privacy advocates is that "the plan appeared to be an effort to circumvent laws [The Privacy Act http://www.justice.gov/opcl/privacyact1974.htm] that restrict the government's right to collect or hold citizen information by turning to private firms to do the work."
Massachusetts Privacy Regulations
Massachusetts Department of Education regulation 603 CMR 23.00 on privacy regarding student records can be found here: http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr23.html.