San Francisco School Board member Kelly discusses
ban on Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps
By Lara Moscrip, Bay City News Service
November 15, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The San Francisco Board of Education
released today its resolution that calls for the end of the Junior
Reserve Officer Training Corps in the city's public schools.
According to board member Daniel Kelly, the question is whether
the program is worthy of support.
"Is it worthwhile or not? It is a military recruiting program
that doesn't belong on our campus. It's not a worthwhile program,"
The question of what activities will fill the void left by JROTC
will come to a head in the 2008-2009 school year, the first year
without the program.
"Do we have adequate after school activities? That needs
to be aggressively pursued. We need to make a commitment to provide
after school activities to all kids ... We have to revisit that
question as a school district," Kelly said.
Kelly mentioned that the board could consider making a formal
commitment to such activities in the budget.
The board agreed Tuesday to create a "special task force"
to develop alternative programs. However, according to Kelly,
schools don't need a task force in order to determine how to spend
the funds that would have otherwise gone toward JROTC programs.
The board's resolution stating that the program "violates
our anti-discrimination policies with regard to LGBT students
and adults" doesn't make sense to Lt. Col. Robert L. Powell,
Powell has been involved with JROTC in San Francisco schools
for 22 years and leads the program at Lincoln High School.
"We presented facts to school board that we (JROTC) aren't
allowed to recruit at high school level ... Also, we aren't allowed
to be biased, we have to accept anyone who wants to come into
the program we have openly gay students in all programs in city,"
"I hire instructors in JROTC, there's nothing to prevent
me from hiring a gay or lesbian instructor," Powell said.
Board members Mark Sanchez, Sarah Lipson, Daniel Kelly and Eric
Mar voted to pass the resolution, with Norman Yee and Jill Wynns
voting against it. Board member Eddie Chin was not present to
cast a vote.
According to the JROTC Web site, classes are currently offered
at Lincoln High School, Balboa High School, Galileo High School,
George Washington High School, Lowell High School and Mission
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