Los Angeles Unified School District Policy Bulletin: Military Access to Schools
ISSUER: Robert Collins, Chief Instructional Officer, Secondary Instruction
DATE: October 21, 2005
POLICY: This bulletin establishes the policy of the Los Angeles Unified School District with regard to military access to schools. The District is committed to protecting the rights of its students as well as providing as many options and opportunities as possible.
MAJOR CHANGES: This is a new policy bulletin of the District.
GUIDELINES: The following guidelines apply.
I. Military Access Rights
Under federal and state law, members of the military have specified access to school campuses. Members of the military may:
- Access school campuses to the same extent that prospective employers and representatives of higher education may access school campuses (20 USC section 9528; Education Code section 49603); and
- For purposes of recruitment, receive names, addresses, and telephone numbers of students ages seventeen and eighteen unless the parent/guardian/eighteen-year-old student has informed the school that this information should not be released (20 USC section 7908; Education Code section 49073.5).
It should be noted that all visitors to school campuses, including members of the military and representatives from higher education and prospective employers, must follow all District and school rules and regulations regarding visitors. The school principal/designee has discretion to determine whether to grant access and the degree of access to campus for any visitor (Board Rules 1265, 1268; Bulletin No. 1325). Reasonable regulations on visitor access may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Specified time limits;
- Location limits (e.g., career fair area, guest speaker in participating classroom);
- Limits on distribution of materials (e.g., provide advance copy to site administrator prior to distribution, do not block students from accessing campus facilities while distributing, do not ask students/school employees to distribute materials on campus, distribution limited to certain areas to minimize disruption to educational operations).
If a campus visitor, including a military representative, does not follow visitor guidelines and/or engages in conduct that is disruptive or unlawful, the visitor must leave the premises. In addition, the school principal/designee may contact the organization or supervisor of the campus visitor to report the misconduct as well as issue a letter limiting or prohibiting future access by that visitor and/or the visitor’s organization or service.
In addition, the school notifies students and families annually of information that may be provided by the school to requesting agencies, including the military, along with a form for parents/guardians/eighteen-year-old students to complete to “opt out” of having this information released by the school. This form is found in the LAUSD Parent Student Handbook under the heading, “Information Release Form.” Parents/guardians may also opt out by providing the school with written notification of their desire to opt out. Also, LAUSD sends a separate letter informing families of students in 11th and 12th grades of the right to opt out of having this information released to the military. The opt-out information will be maintained in LAUSD’s computerized database for the full academic year, and requests for contact information for the purpose of military recruitment are processed through the centralized Student Information System, not the individual schools.
II. Rights and Responsibilities of Students and Families
Students and families should be aware of the following rights and responsibilities:
- No student is required by the school to meet with or speak to a recruiter;
- Families may opt out of disclosing their student’s contact information to military recruiters by returning the “Information Release Form,” found in the LAUSD Parent Student Handbook, to the school and indicating in the check box for “Do Not Release” that they do not wish the military to have access to that information. Families should review the form and, if they wish to opt out, be sure to return the form to the school by the deadline. The parent/guardian, or a 17 and 18 year old student, is not required to use the LAUSD form to opt out and may alternatively provide the information, in writing, to the school;
- In general, students retain their First Amendment rights of free expression while on campus as long as the expression does not fall outside the First Amendment, including obscene, libelous, or slanderous matter. Any material that creates a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises or the violation of lawful school regulations, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school, is also prohibited. Students may protest the military via written materials or peaceful demonstrations on campus as long as the expression is not prohibited or disruptive, as described above. Please also see Board Rules 1274, 1275, and 1277 for further information on this topic.
- No student is required to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) as part of the school program. The school will not discipline a student who opts not to take the ASVAB. The ASVAB is a general aptitude test offered at no cost and no obligation to high school students through a joint program of the Department of Defense and Department of Education. Taking the ASVAB does not require a student to enlist in military service; however, a junior or senior can use ASVAB scores for up to two years to enlist in the military after graduation, and the contact information provided as part of the test, as well as scores, is accessible to military recruiters. If a student is contacted by a military recruiter, requests that no further contact be made, and the military recruiter continues to contact the student, the student/family should contact the commanding officer at the recruiting station (not the recruiting office) to report the unwanted contact and request that it stop. In addition, if school personnel become aware of unwanted and repeated contacts by military recruiters, school personnel may report the situation to the military representatives listed in Attachment A.
To ensure consistency with the opt-out provisions for release of contact information to the military, it is recommended that school employees facilitating the ASVAB inform students that they may use the school’s address on the ASVAB form.
- Participation in JROTC or ROTC is voluntary. JROTC/ROTC participation may count towards physical education requirements, but students also have the option of taking physical education in an available class during the same term and/or during intersession or summer school. Students who are enrolled in a JROTC/ROTC class in lieu of physical education who choose to drop the JROTC/ROTC class will be prioritized for enrollment in physical education.
- The school shall not release a student who is under 18 years of age from campus without written parent/guardian permission. Families should understand that any trips or transporting by military recruiters outside of school hours is not approved, authorized, or supervised by the school or school personnel and these arrangements must be made between the family and the military representative.
III. Role of the School
- Provide the same access to military recruiters as is afforded to college representatives and prospective employers, in accordance with applicable laws and District policies;
- As with any issue that relates to the First Amendment, all school employees must maintain neutrality during work hours, particularly while in direct contact with students.
- If ASVAB will be conducted on campus, schedule the test, provide information regarding the ASVAB to families, and ensure a school employee is present at the test site.
IV. Responsibility of Military Representatives:
- Follow all applicable District and school guidelines for visitors;
- Obtain approval in advance from the school principal/designee before distributing any materials on campus; do not have students distribute recruitment materials or recruit other students while on campus;
- Refrain from recruiting activities at the ASVAB test site during or immediately after the ASVAB is given;
- Do not ask the school to guarantee a number of recruits in exchange for providing the ASVAB;
- Do not transport any student under 18 years of age without written consent from the student’s parent/guardian;
- Do not bring military equipment or vehicles on campus unless the Office of Risk Management has approved the request in advance;
- Do not suggest that students drop out of high school and pursue a GED as a means of recruiting;
- Obtain approval in advance from the school principal/designee before bringing any materials or prizes intended to be distributed on campus; and
- Respond to requests for information, including providing translation services where necessary.
AUTHORITY: 20 U.S.C. sections 7908, 9528
California Education Code sections 35160, 49063, 49073.5
Board Rules 1265, 1265
“Visitors to School Campuses,” Bulletin No. 1325, dated October 11, 2004.
ASSISTANCE: For assistance regarding the ASVAB, please contact your career advisor.
For assistance regarding JROTC, please contact High School Programs at (213) 241-6895.
For assistance with First Amendment issues, please contact the Office of General
Counsel at (213) 241-7600.