SF brings in “soft” skills in lieu of JROTC

It’s a done deal:  the JROTC is out in San Francisco and kids instead get to learn first aid.  All of the discipline, pride, unit cohesion, drilling, and athletic credit that went with JROTC have just been replaced with a first aid class.

Now I’m all in favor of first aid.  I deeply admire the first responders in our communities and I know that, in the real world, the people who have these skills are among our finest and bravest.  Nevertheless, in the context of the SF School Board’s political machinations, this course is meant to create a victim class, not a warrior class.  (In the real world, as 9/11 showed, first responders are warriors, of course.)

What’s really sad is that the white liberals who oppose JROTC have mostly left the school district anyway because (at least when I was looking into them years ago) SF schools were, for the most part, awful.  Faced with these schools, the (mostly liberal) professional class either opted into the private schools or moved to the suburbs.

I wonder if the families remaining in the schools are as on-board with this mush-brained liberal decision as are the families who have already bailed on this failing educational community.

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  • 1Lulu

    I often visit a high school that has an active ROTC program. The school has a huge drop-out rate. Though many of the students were born in the US, their parents are largely undocumented. Lots of the kids are being raised by single moms. Many are staggeringly behind in school. High teen pregnancy rate and
    the neighborhood has a high level of gang activity.

    The kids do get a lot of school district sponsored diversity and tolerance workshops, Chicano History electives (these for kids who often know next to nothing about US history), and a school culture that is indulgent. There is a dress code, but it is not enforced. Girls come to school falling out of their tops, boys have pants below their bottoms, or wear white tee-shirts, black dickey pants and knee high white athletic socks, shaved head completing the gang uniform.

    And then there is the ROTC, drilling on campus, literally rescuing those kids who choose to join it, kids from the same at-risk population, providing boys with decent male role models, teaching discipline, responsibility, pride in self, love of (adopted) country. Gets kids onto a career path and out of the dead-end choices made by so many of their classmates.
    When I pass the ROTC office, I am delighted it is there. I wish more students would be able to join it. There is no question that ROTC offers an opportunity to these kids- for college, job training, self-discipline, learning how to be a responsible man or woman. The SF Liberals should have asked the kids in ROTC why they joined before they decided what was good for them.
    If Obama wins (please God, no) we are going to get a lot more of this kind of “we know what’s good for you” patronizing decisions from on high.

  • Mike Devx

    >> I often visit a high school that has an active ROTC program. The school has a huge drop-out rate. Though many of the students were born in the US, their parents are largely undocumented. … There is no question that ROTC offers an opportunity to these kids- for college, job training, self-discipline, learning how to be a responsible man or woman. >>

    Lulu,
    In my seven years as a high school math teacher (1985-1992) in a very low-income section of Brownsville, TX, I saw exactly the same things that you saw. (Based on what I’ve heard since ’92 things have only gotten far, far worse in the public “edukayshun” system.)

    There were two groups of students who were a consistent joy to have as students. The first group was the ROTC students. Rarely was there ever a problem of any sort, and the men running the program worked well with us to resolve any problems of any sort. These students were fantastic.

    The other group was the migrant workers. The families would return to Brownsville two months into the school year and leave two months early. Their lives were incredibly hard, and yet these students, too, were simply fantastic.

    In both cases, the students and their parents had an extraordinary work ethic and a commitment to… what to call it? Individual responsibility? An absolute will to succeed? Whatever it was, these ROTC and migrant kids and their parents were truly admirable, and my hat is off to them.

    It’s a terrible shame that SanFran did not choose to keep ROTC and offer a limited “Peace” or “Health” program of parallel activities. Just goes to show the hatred. And also shows that results aren’t what matters; ideology is.

  • http://betterangels.typepad.com Ronald Hayden

    A key problem with the SF school board is that people don’t run for the board because they care about education — they run because in this town it’s a standard stepping stone to further political office.

    And because a no-doubt disproportionate percentage of San Franciscans don’t have kids (hey I’m a gay guy with no kids, so who am I to talk?), people voting for school board members are more likely to vote on non-educational ideological grounds as well.

    Though it might not matter that much if these were very educationally-concerned politicians: When you mix in the concepts of “equality”, entitlement, affirmative action, and desire for politically active kids that is standard fare here, it’s going to be a disaster no matter what.

    The Berkeley Rep theater just put on a play that, very surprising for them, was by a former attendee of the Berkeley High School who, though liberal himself, was very critical of the unthinking dogma of the Berkeley educators. The play is discussed here

  • 11B40

    Greetings:

    Hey, maybe they’ll start up a Boy Scout troop to replace JROTC. Oops.

    Many of San Francisco’s politicians have been anti-military for a long, long time. I was working for the Navy as a civilian back during the Diane Feinstein-USS Missouri controversy and just being at war isn’t going to change those kind of minds.

    This a great example of the Obama Christmas-Future. Another minority, another small tyranny, another slice of the culture salami gone.

    My current favorite “San Francisco” anecdote is this: The other night, on the channel 7 late news, Tomas Roman had a report starring the parents of the school children who were taken to the homosexual wedding. They were upset because the “Yes on 8″ campaign had incorporated the broadcast news footage of their children at the wedding into one of the “Yes on 8″ political television ads. The parents “felt” that both they and their children were being, yes, “victimized”. Film on the evening news, OK; film in a campaign ad, Big Bad-o. So, after this careful exposition, Mr. Roman brings on a state legislator to confirm, unequivocally, the malfeasance of the “Yes on 8″ campaign and their ad. Enter, stage left, one, you guessed it, Mark Leno to make one of his most solemn pronouncements about the victimization of the school children. Apparently, Mr. Roman didn’t know or remember that Mr. Leno, not very long ago, wanted to pass legislation that would have increased the amount of child pornography one could possess without incurring felony charges.

    How shall I say it, “Welcome to San Francisco World.”

  • suek

    >>I was working for the Navy as a civilian back during the Diane Feinstein-USS Missouri controversy and just being at war isn’t going to change those kind of minds.>>

    I remember that. I was reading milblogs regularly during that time. One of the comments after someone saying that the military should just pull out of SF completely and not “bless” them with the defense dollars they collect out of the navy was: “We will continue to defend San Francisco because that’s what we’re paid to do. The rest of the country we’ll do for free.”

    Loved it!