I blogged last week about San Franciscans who were trying to dispute the image the rest of America has that the city is full of far left nuts who are out of touch with mainstream America. Stories like this one certainly won’t help those trying to dispute that image:
After 90 years in San Francisco high schools, the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps must go, the San Francisco school board decided Tuesday night.
The Board of Education voted 4-2 to eliminate the popular program, phasing it out over two years.
Dozens of JROTC cadets at the board meeting burst into tears or covered their faces after the votes were cast.
“We’re really shocked,” said fourth-year Cadet Eric Chu, a senior at Lowell High School, his eyes filling with tears. “It provided me with a place to go.”
The proposal approved by the board also creates a task force to develop alternatives to the program that will be tried out next year at various high schools.
The board’s decision was loudly applauded by opponents of the program.
Their position was summed up by a former teacher, Nancy Mancias, who said, “We need to teach a curriculum of peace.”
The board’s move to dismantle the popular program was led by board members Dan Kelly and Mark Sanchez with support from Sarah Lipson and Eric Mar. Casting votes against it were Jill Wynns and Norman Yee. Board member Eddie Chin was absent.
“I think people should not despair too much,” Sanchez said. “I think now the work begins — to work within the community to develop new programs that will fulfill the needs of our students.”
About 1,600 San Francisco students participate in JROTC at seven high schools across the district.
Opponents said the armed forces should have no place in public schools, and the military’s discriminatory stance on gays makes the presence of JROTC unacceptable.
“We don’t want the military ruining our civilian institutions,” said Sandra Schwartz of the American Friends Service Committee, an organization actively opposing JROTC nationwide. “In a healthy democracy … you contain the military. You must contain the military.”
Students, parents and school staff from each of the seven high schools converged outside the school board meeting carrying signs and waving at cars, some of which honked in support.
At least 100 cadets edged into Franklin Street waving their signs before being pushed back to the sidewalk by their ROTC instructors.
“This is where the kids feel safe, the one place they feel safe,” Robert Powell, a JROTC instructor at Lincoln High School and a retired Army lieutenant colonel, said earlier in the evening. “You’re going to take that away from them?”
Opponents acknowledged the program is popular and even helps some students stay in school and out of trouble.
Yet they also said the program exists to lure students to sign up for the armed forces.
“It’s basically a branding program, or a recruiting program for the military,” Kelly said before the meeting.
The school district and the military share the $1.6 million annual cost of the program, with the military paying $586,000, or half the salaries of 15 instructors — all of whom are retired military personnel. The district pays the other half of salaries and $394,000 in benefits.
Earlier, Mayor Gavin Newsom weighed in on the debate, chastising the board for the effort to eliminate JROTC.
“The move sends the wrong message,” he said. “It’s important for the city not to be identified with disrespecting the sacrifice of men and women in uniform.”
It’s a little late for that, I think, Mayor Newsom.
Newsom also said he believed the vote would push more city residents away from the public schools.
“You think this is going to help keep families in San Francisco?” the mayor added. “No. It’s going to hurt.”
I discussed the declining child population of San Francisco in this post last year, noting:
The child population of San Francisco is dwindling. I think the numbers are down to around 15%, where as the national average is over 20% in each state (going off the top of my head here). Here’s an article that discusses the dwindling child population there. It mentions economic factors as part of the reason but said SF’s gay population is also considered to be a factor, considering that expensive cities like New York aren’t experiencing this problem to the degree that SF is.
The interesting – and deceptive thing – about the SF school board’s decision (and decisions made by the SF city supervisors) is that they want you to believe that the reason they are against the military is because of its “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding gays, but the real and more obvious reason is that they just flat out hate the military, don’t ask don’t tell policy or not.
But when/if SF is ever attacked, who will be the first people citizens there look to to protect them? The very military they shun every chance they get.
San Francisco’s ‘leaders’ continue to prove that even though anti-military nuts are no longer literally spitting on our military, that they know how to figuratively do so. These people are living in a 60s and 70s peacenik time warp, which is kinda ironic, considered how they are considered in the more elite circles to be so progressive. They wonder why more people don’t consider them mainstream because they think they ARE mainstream.
This city, BTW, is represented in Congress by our new House Speaker: Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
Hat tip: Kim Priestap at Wizbang
Read more via: Michelle Malkin
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