By Pat Elder
The District of Columbia Public Schools, apparently responding to multiple requests by city residents and recent experiences in neighboring jurisdictions, has taken the extraordinary step of banning the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test from all public schools in Washington, DC.
In a letter dated February 29, 2008, Sara Wilson, of the Critical Response Team of the Office of the Chancellor wrote to DC activist John Judge, "After speaking with Kimberly Hood-Berry, the Deputy Chief for Academic Support Services and the Head Counselor, Merita Carter, they have decided to look for an alternative career exploration test to be used in place of ASVAB. While they are searching for the best alternative, counselors will be informed not to use ASVAB."
Last week, officials from neighboring Prince George's County, Maryland were outraged when they discovered the military had not informed school officials of their option to withhold private information, including social security numbers and ASVAB test results, from military recruiters. Federal regulations require the military to inform school districts of their right to withhold test information from recruiters.
The ASVAB is administered to 605,000 public school children every year. Although internal military documents identify the ASVAB as a recruiting device, it is marketed in schools as a "career exploration program".
This development has the potential to bring down the ASVAB across the country. That's how angry school officials are becoming.
This form, provided by military representatives to Prince George's County, MD School Officials, omits Option 8: http://dc.indymedia.org/media/anti-warwar/display/35882/index.php
School officials in Montgomery, Maryland were also unaware of the option to withhold test results from military recruiting services. When they learned of Option 8 two years ago, Montgomery officials changed their policy by requiring parental permission to take the test and selecting Option 8 in schools across the sprawling district.
See USMEPCOM Regulation 601.4 Personnel Procurement Student Testing Program 25 July, 2005, pages 12 & 13 for an explanation of the various options available to public school systems:
RLCC: This will help demilitarize the nation and the world.
Originally by davidswanson from AfterDowningStreet.org - Impeach Bush and Cheney Now! on March 2, 2008, 8:12am
The following should appear at the end of every post:
According to the IRS, "Know the law: Avoid political campaign intervention":
Tax-exempt section 501(c)(3) organizations like churches, universities, and hospitals must follow the law regarding political campaigns. Unfortunately, some don't know the law.
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from participating in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. The prohibition applies to campaigns at the federal, state and local level.
Violation of this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes. Section 501(c)(3) private foundations are subject to additional restrictions.
Political Campaign Intervention
Political campaign intervention includes any activities that favor or oppose one or more candidates for public office. The prohibition extends beyond candidate endorsements.
Contributions to political campaign funds, public statements of support or opposition (verbal or written) made by or on behalf of an organization, and the distribution of materials prepared by others that support or oppose any candidate for public office all violate the prohibition on political campaign intervention.
Factors in determining whether a communication results in political campaign intervention include the following:
- Whether the statement identifies one or more candidates for a given public office
- Whether the statement expresses approval or disapproval of one or more candidates' positions and/or actions
- Whether the statement is delivered close in time to the election
- Whether the statement makes reference to voting or an election
- Whether the issue addressed distinguishes candidates for a given office
Many religious organizations believe, as we do, that the above constitutes a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
That said, we make the following absolutely clear here:
- The Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project not only do not endorse any candidate for any secular office, we say that Christianity forbids voting in such elections.
- Furthermore, when we discuss any public-office holder's position, policy, action or inaction, we definitely are not encouraging anyone to vote for that office holder's position.
- We are not trying to influence secular elections but rather want people to come out from that entire fallen system.
- When we analyze or discuss what is termed "public policy," we do it entirely from a theological standpoint with an eye to educating professing Christians and those to whom we are openly always proselytizing to convert to authentic Christianity.
- It is impossible for us to fully evangelize and proselytize without directly discussing the pros and cons of public policy and the positions of secular-office holders, hence the unconstitutionality of the IRS code on the matter.
- We are not rich and wouldn't be looking for a fight regardless. What we cannot do is compromise our faith (which seeks to harm nobody, quite the contrary).
- We render unto Caesar what is Caesar's. We render unto God what is God's.
- When Caesar says to us that unless we shut up about the unrighteousness of Caesar's policies and practices, we will lose the ability of people who donate to us to declare their donations as deductions on their federal and state income-tax returns, we say to Caesar that we cannot shut up while exercising our religion in a very reasonable way.
- We consider the IRS code on this matter as deliberate economic duress (a form of coercion) and a direct attempt by the federal government to censor dissenting, free political and religious speech.
- It's not freedom of religion if they tax it.
And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)