Saturday, October 20, 2007


Sometimes a manly-man acquaintance will surprise me with unexpected sensitivity to the feelings of others. It’s one of the warmest emotions I get.

Sfmike’s posts regarding the demise of Junior ROTC in San Francisco’s public high schools are such an instance. [Photos here from Civic Center Blog.]

In San Francisco, being in the military is not cool. Many SFers thing that the US military, per se, is part of the problem, like organized crime, and must be eliminated.

In most high schools, being in ROTC is not cool. Like, what kind of geek wants to wear stupid uniforms and march around, and, like, obey orders?

So, at a time of frustration of the US’ immoral war on Iraq, and some b.s. about don't ask don't tell, it was easy for SF’s Board of Education to ban JROTC from city schools—a good slap at the Bush administration.

What the BoE fools didn’t consider was that JROTC, like any after school activity can be, was the primary peer-support resource for many of the participants. High school is tough enough. To eliminate existing resources on a whim of political correctness is callous.

The board’s symbolic slap represented a real loss for the kids.

When this was brought to the Board’s attention they said, no problem we’ll develop an equivalent alternate program to fill the gap.

A year later, no alternate program. [SFGate story.]

I guess there’s a lesson here: it’s easier to ban something than to replace it.


The good news is that JROTC will continue indefinitely. Sfmike tells me that two Board members who pushed for the ban have since departed and the issue is likely to remain dormant.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Willie, as a veteran who nevertheless condemns almost every war in our history, including most particularly the on-going Iraq debacle, I nevertheless condemn the self-rightous who eliminate valuable programs from the schools. Some people can't seem to make a distinction between The Texas Twerp and his misguided policies. There are crazies like him and then there are ordinary people. As you call it, Pathetic. r.s.