The Oakland Tribune reports that East Bay Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher is now spearheading the campaign to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 1993 policy barring openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual citizens from serving in the military. Although Tauscher has argued against a surge in military troops in Iraq, she opposes “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” on the basis of employment nondiscrimination. The Berkeley Daily Planet reported last month that Berkeley High School will now release student names and addresses to the U.S. military.
Previously, BHS students had to “opt-in” to give the military access to this information, which is used for recruitment purposes; now the information will be released unless parents sign an “opt-out” letter. BHS is the last public high school in the nation to comply with the “opt-in” rule, part of the No Child Left Behind Act. The Trib also reports that the Oakland Military Institute will send 80 percent of its first graduating class to four-year colleges. The academy, which opened in 2001, offers students (starting in the seventh grade) a hearty dose of discipline and academics, though, as previously reported in the EBX, it has faced criticism from parents for being too lax. Last month, students staged a walkout after the administration fired five instructors.
Meanwhile, the AP reports that the US Army was short 399 warm bodies of its goal of 5,500 recruits for the month of May. The East Bay may have some solutions.