06/03/2005 10:42 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

How to (help) stop the war: Opt Your Kid Out

Hidden in the "Leave No Child Behind" Act is a demand for public high schools to give contact information for its students to military recruiters.

Gee, why would recruiters want that information?

Maybe so they can call kids turning 18 and suggest they'd do well to "be all you can be."

What happens if a school refuses to hand over those phone numbers?

It could lose federal funds -- and, in effect, leave all its students behind.

But there is a tiny exception.

Parents can opt their kids out.

Thus was born the Leave My Child Alone campaign.

If you don't want your underage high school kid to get phone calls, mail or home visits from recruiters, that website will show you how to opt your child out.

This campaign's goal is one million students.

Feeling uneasy about the issue of "patriotism"? Don't. Dropping in on a minor to convince him to volunteer for combat duty in Iraq has nothing to do with patriotism. In practical terms, it sounds a lot more like the first cousin to the power relationship described in the textbooks on childhood sexual abuse: the seductive adult, the impressionable kid. Your legal obligation as a parent is to protect your kid from exactly that kind of situation.

But it's deeper than than your responsibility for your child. There is also the issue of your obligation to your country. This is a way --- granted, a small one --- to send a message to the President and Vice-President that your child won't be easy pickings for their killing machine. And although the White House says it doesn't listen --- and it doesn't --- impressive numbers of opt-outs will start to make the point that Americans really want this war to stop.

For more reasons to opt your child out, go here