Groton considers updated policy on release of student information to recruiters

Groton — At its policy committee meeting Monday evening, members of the Board of Education considered an updated policy on providing student information to recruiters for higher education institutions and the military.

The policy is being updated to reflect requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which in 2015 replaced the No Child Left Behind Act.

The on-campus recruitment policy was last revised in February 2005. It says that lists of student names may be distributed but if a parent or guardian objects in writing, the student's name won't be released.

The draft of the new on-campus recruitment policy is scheduled to have its first reading at the next regular Board of Education meeting on Nov. 27.

The old and new policies both state, "The same directory information and on-campus recruiting opportunities will be made available to all recruiters. These shall include representatives of the armed forces of the United States of America and state armed services, nonmilitary recruiters, recruiters for commercial concerns and recruiters representing institutions of higher education."

At the policy committee meeting on Monday, attendees opted to strike the inclusion of nonmilitary recruiters and recruiters for commercial concerns, considering ESSA only requires districts to provide – upon request – names, addresses and telephone listings to military recruiters, colleges and universities.

Groton Public Schools is required to provide this information upon request because it receives federal government funds under ESSA.

Strongly opposing the inclusion of commercial concerns, board member Lee White noted she wouldn't mind if Harvard got ahold of her kid but wouldn't want Papa John's doing so.

Some board members expressed concern about giving parents ample notice of their ability to request the information not be released. The 2017-18 Fitch High School handbook includes the on-campus recruitment policy but no opt-out form.

"I don't want to be an obstructionist and not include the form," Rosemary Robertson said. "We should include the form."

An addition to the new policy is that a student aged 18 or older, rather than his or her parent or guardian, may request that personal information not be released without his or her prior permission.

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