500 Words – Banning JROTC From High Schools in San Francisco

According to this Fox News article (San Francisco Values Front and Center), the San Francisco Board of Education voted 4-2 to ban JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) from San Francisco high schools. Why the board would vote to ban this valuable organization is beyond me.

JROTC is far from a hostile organization. In fact, here is a quote from the JROTC website:

The United States Army’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, or JROTC, is designed to teach high school students the value of citizenship, leadership, service to the community, personal responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment, while instilling in them self-esteem, teamwork, and self-discipline. Its focus is reflected in its mission statement, “To motivate young people to be better citizens.”

Essentially, the San Francisco Board of Education decided to ban a high school club that desires to help high school kids “be better citizens.”

My sister (now a Captain in the U.S. Army) could probably vouch for JROTC. It helped her throughout high school, and it helped her land an ROTC scholarship that helped pay for her college. Although JROTC isn’t necessary to get a ROTC scholarship, JROTC does provide the foundation that is needed to step into ROTC at a later point.

I’m assuming here, but I imagine that the San Francisco Board of Education banned JROTC because the board concluded that JROTC is influencing youngsters to join the Army military. The people of San Francisco have already voted to ban military recruiters from high schools and college campuses; banning JROTC from high schools is putting the last nail into the recruiting coffin.

What I don’t understand is that the San Francisco Board of Education decided to ban a “voluntary” club that high schoolers “choose” to join. Bill O’Reilly (in his article) stated that the Board of Education’s decision is one big double standard. He said that if a “gay club” was banned, the ACLU would be throwing a fit. I agree that the San Francisco Board of Education used poor judgment in banning JROTC from high schools. After all, it is these youngsters that JROTC tries to train into the leaders that may potentially defend the state of California (or even the country) by joining the National Guard or the Army.

It is understandable that Bill O’Reilly and San Francisco do not get along. After military recruiters were banned from high schools and college campuses, Bill said that he would welcome San Francisco becoming its own country. His logic was that if San Francisco is so anti-military, then the U.S. should cut them off from all military aid completely — essentially leaving San Francisco wide open for invasion or even a terrorist attack.

I don’t agree that the military should “cut off” San Francisco. Fortunately, the United States military doesn’t choose which states it should defend upon attack. If any of the United States is attacked, it’s the same as if rest of the country is being attacked. If you don’t agree with me, think back to September 11th, 2001 and how the whole country reacted.

I also don’t agree with San Francisco banning JROTC in high schools. JROTC is a character-building high school club. Why, out of all of the clubs to choose from, did San Francisco decide to ban JROTC? What exactly was the reasoning?

Bill O’Reilly calls for the elimination of federal aid to all San Francisco schools until recruiters are allowed and JROTC is reinstated. Although a little extreme, I’d have to agree with O’Reilly on this issue. If San Francisco refuses to support the United States military, then the United States should cut off its federal funding to the city’s schools. This would hurt a lot of kids in the short-term, but it will get the message across that you can’t expect support if you aren’t willing to give any in return.

That’s my 500 Words.

15 thoughts on “500 Words – Banning JROTC From High Schools in San Francisco”

  1. Ummm removing the quote in the middle leaves 584 words :-). Although I must agree that it seems a little out of line to ban a voluntary club, especially one that seeks to establish American values. I wonder if a specific club made a problem out of themselves.

  2. Well, "Greater Than or Equal to 500 Words" is a little long, so I just opted to go with "500 Words." I hope that's okay. 🙂

    I doubt a specific club made problems. I have a hunch that it has to do with a particular city.

  3. I don't necessarily like JROTC (to tell the truth, I find them somewhat obnoxious at my school), nor do I ever want to join, but I draw the line at banning it. It's an organization and it works, regardless of what people think. I just wish they'd stress citizenship and discipline and other things rather than throw the military package into the mix. That's probably what upset San Francisco, although it's funny that such a liberal city will try to get rid of something voluntary.

  4. Hi. I'm a JROTC cadet at a SF High School. To inform you, JROTC does not recruit students into the military, less then 5% of the students actually end up joining the armed forces. JROTC is a program that informs you ABOUT the military, but it also gives the bad side of the story to us.
    I agree with your last paragraph. Many of my peers are really sad about the outcome of the resolution and after reading many articles on the topic, I don't think JROTC will come back after the 2008 school year.

  5. @Stephanie,

    Thank you for the information. Based on what my sister has told me about JROTC, the program teaches about the military and encourages the students to consider their options. I wasn't trying to imply that JROTC's main purpose is to recruit high school students into the military. I appreciate your correction if that implication came across.

    Do you by any chance know about the ROTC programs in SF colleges? Is the program in the same boat there?

  6. Oh my god, leave the U.S. education system alone. Not only do I think we should not cut funding to schools I think we should give them more. My god we need to remember why this country was founded. All that cutting that cutting funds from schools tell us is that a good education is only for the elite.

    As far as the ROTC I say let it go. If you want self-discipline and teamwork, lets start in the classroom. While we are at it, lets give some money to school bands. That too seems to be dieing yet nobody seems to care about that. Oh and may I add the band is not a club its a class.

  7. I just want to respond to the cutting spending on education argument.

    I'd suggest you do a little fact checking before trying to make that argument stick.

    USA Today

    Any questions?

    Oddly enough, I agree with you about funding the arts in schools. Why don't you ask your local school why the football budget is so much larger than the fine arts budget?

    Here's another thought: instead of starting self-discipline and teamwork in the classroom, why not start it at home?


  8. How about this: Let us get the parents involved in the classroom. As far as being in the band, I never saw more passion and teamwork in my life. Even when they fired our director and decided to cancel the last concert, I would ever have in high school. We the seniors took charge and we held the concert anyway. And at a student teacher, this no child left behind act is a joke. Cutting funds so recruiters can go on campus. No child left behind my ass. There would be bigger cracks in the system than Dick Cheney ass.

  9. Hello, I am a 3rd year in JROTC in SF SD, this program has tought me so much in the past three years and i have greater self esteem, i can talk in front of a large croud and feel more comfertable. Jrotc is not recruting miniature solders, very few students end up signing up for the army or anything. Its a great program to learn from, and it can help you in the future.

  10. I have to say banning JROTC is just another liberal attempt at control of information. If you remove a system or mind set that is not favorable to a socialist/liberal agenda early in a persons life they are less likely to be American. That seems to be the general plan of the left side of politics. If kids don’t learn to be patriotic and don’t learn a sense of self respect and responsibility they will remain weak and controllable.

    I was in JROTC in high school and its not a club. It is in fact a class and it has a period everyday just like any other class. I left high school and went out on my own for a year and eventually after weighing my options and thinking carefully about my future ( something I learned in JROTC )I proudly joined the U.S. Navy and currently serve overseas. I’m working on my college degree and learning everyday the meaning of hard work and true citizenship. When are people just going to stop being politically correct, the crap in San Fransisco is just another attempt by the socialist liberals to control and filter information into the minds of the American youth. Stop questioning whether its right or wrong and just call it.

  11. This is hilarious. Im in the program and how is it possible that JROTC trains people to go to the army. The program is run by first sergeants and co’s. However, those first sergeants and cos are TEENAGERS. All of them go off to college at my school, and our MISSION is to be better citizens, but our GOAL is to graduate high school.

  12. I find this article very informative in a way that thoughts are delivered well. I think plenty of good points are stated in this article. I’m not that familiar with JROTC, but banning such training has also been a big issue here in our country. Different perceptions are expected to arise when it comes to issues like this. In my own opinion, there is nothing wrong about it because there are people or students who are really into community service and this enthusiasm to serve the community often leads them to several community scholarships like the Walmart Scholarship, which can truly be a good thing for them.

  13. I’m not that familiar with JROTC, but banning such training has also been a big issue here in our country. theres a lot of perceptions are expected when it comes to issues like this. fo me there is nothing wrong about it, its good that there is a program like this.

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