At a 5,000-student, nearly all Latino high school in Los Angeles, the Junior ROTC program has lost nearly half its cadets in recent years, reports the LA Times. Some Roosevelt High teachers are trying to get the program dropped.
"Teacher Gillian Russom said (color guard drill) training instills the wrong values: following orders, dressing the same and relying on rote memorization rather than critical thinking. “That’s necessary for a successful military, but does it create the kind of citizens we want?”
Presumably she opposes the marching band too.
Of course, the reason the teachers are doing this is because, broadly speaking, they're hippies—they liked the idea of the US losing Vietnam War, they'd like the idea of the US losing this one, too.
According to the LA Times,
Many teachers are openly hostile toward JROTC, Jesse said, and some wear T-shirts that say "A War Budget Leaves Every Child Behind."
This is because they aren't reading Pat Buchanan, who could explain that under the Bush Administration, the military is still underfunded, and that the schools are overfunded:
Under George W. Bush, U.S. Department of Education funding has risen 92 percent in six years, from $35.5 billion in 2001 to $68 billion in 2007. Sinking test scores are what we have to show for it.
Also, the teachers and local activists feel that it's wrong for minorities to fight for the United States. In fact, that's not an issue at this "nearly all Latino" high school, and that's the most striking thing about this article:
Harrington said few of his Roosevelt students join the armed services. Only 5% of his cadets would even qualify to enlist, he said, because the rest are in the country illegally, couldn't pass the military aptitude test, are in trouble with the law or are overweight.
"This is the worst school on the planet for a recruiter to come and think they will be successful," he said, adding that only three Roosevelt cadets in three years have enlisted out of high school. [Junior ROTC takes a hit in L.A. |At Roosevelt High, a coalition of teachers and students works to end the program, and its numbers are dropping, By Sonia Nazario, LA Times, February 19, 2007 ]
The antiwar types are against kids learning to shoot air rifles, for the usual anti-gun reasons:
Teachers who oppose JROTC are also dismayed that despite a zero-tolerance policy on weapons, 10 Los Angeles high schools, including Roosevelt, have JROTC firing ranges.
I'm all for kids learning marksmanship and gun safety—but I'm not sure if a marksmanship program for kids who are illegal aliens or are in trouble with the law is a good idea.