SAN FRANCISCO TO BOOT JROTC PROGRAMS
November 16, 2006
High schools across San Francisco soon will no longer have Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs after officials decided to eliminate them because of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gay service members.
The Board of Education voted 4-2 late Tuesday to phase out the JROTC from schools over the next two years, despite protest from hundreds of students who rallied outside the meeting.
- The resolution says the military's ban on openly gay soldiers violates the school district's equal rights policy for gays.
- The school district and the military currently share the $1.6 million annual cost of the program.
- About 1,600 San Francisco students participate in JROTC at seven high schools across the district.
Cadets and instructors who spoke at the meeting and rallied outside argued that the program teaches leadership, organizational skills, personal responsibility and other important values.
Mayor Gavin Newsom called severing ties with the JROTC a bad idea that penalized students without having any practical effect on the Pentagon's policy on gays in the military.
Lt. Cmdr. Joe Carpenter, a Pentagon spokesman, has said he didn't know of any other school district having barred JROTC from its campuses.
Source: Associated Press, "San Francisco to Boot JROTC Programs," Fox News, November 15, 2006.
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