Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps programs in the APS.

In colleges and universities there are ROTC programs. Upon graduation, those students are eligible for commissions in the armed forces. ROTC programs in high schools are called Junior ROTC programs.

Their stated purpose;

"... to instill in students in ... the values of citizenship,
service to the United States, and personal responsibility
and a sense of accomplishment."
The question; whether there should be JROTC programs in APS middle and high schools.

I have a prejudice; my personal experience is a number of my middle school students, who were "at risk" by conventional measures, went on to high school, joined the JROTC program and as a result, matured into young men and women with huge potential.

JROTC programs are specifically and explicitly prohibited from "recruiting" impressionable young people. There are those, who have been speaking up at public forums during school board meetings, link, who are arguing that "recruiting" is going on nevertheless. Some are arguing against JROTC programs even if they are not recruiting.

Historically, there have been civilizations that honored their
warrior class. And then there are those who believe,
if only there were no warriors, there would be no wars.

There are two entirely separate questions;
  1. should there be JROTC programs in public schools, and

  2. should there be "recruiting" going on in those programs?
Those questions are appropriate for public discourse.

For myself, I say yes to the one, no to the other.

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