June 6, 2008
Copyright © 2008 Marc Norton
The San Francisco Examiner ran an article on Monday, June 2 boldly titled "JROTC Still Marching Strong." The article approvingly quotes Colonel Doug Bullard, who runs JROTC at Lowell High School, bragging that JROTC kids "ski, go rafting and compete in drum competitions." He doesn't even mention that JROTC is a creature of the Pentagon. Nor does the article mention that there is a serious campaign in process to end JROTC in our schools, right now, today.
There was also a letter in Beyond Chron on Monday stating that school board members Mark Sanchez, Eric Mar, Jane Kim and Kim-Shree Maufas all have the "same position." Not hardly...
Last December 2007, Sanchez and Mar voted against the resolution that extended JROTC for another year. If that resolution had failed, JROTC would be outa here this very month.
The rest of the school board -- including Green Party member Jane Kim and Kim-Shree Maufas -- voted to extend JROTC for another year. As a consequence, JROTC is still with us. That is the public record.
I talked to Sanchez on Monday, June 2. I asked him if he had changed his position since December. He said, and I quote, "No." I then asked him if he would vote the same way if the same resolution was before the school board now. He said, and I quote, "Most likely."
There is every reason to believe that Eric Mar feels the same way as Sanchez. That makes two votes to end JROTC now. That makes Kim and Maufas -- two board members who have progressive reputations to protect, and who have expressed distress about having a military recruitment program in our schools -- the two swing votes.
|Mark Sanchez (left) and Eric Mar (right) --|
two solid votes against JROTC.
|Jane Kim (left) and Kim-Shree Maufas (right) --|
two "swing" votes against JROTC.
In case anybody fails to understand the urgency of the matter, listen up. There is going to be an election in November. Sanchez and Mar will be gone from the school board. The military and their allies are laying plans to overturn the original decision of the school board to phase out JROTC, in order to keep the program in place, forever.
The only reliable way to avoid this scenario is to get JROTC out of our schools, now, before our two solid votes -- Mark Sanchez and Eric Mar -- go away.
Those who counsel delay are doing the military's dirty work, knowingly or unknowingly. That's the public record.
As Tom Ammiano, Mark Sanchez and Tommi Avicolli Mecca wrote in the San Francisco Bay Guardian back in 2006:
"Let's not sell our youth short. Or make them fodder for oil wars. Or subject them to antiqueer discrimination and hate crimes. Let's give them all the skills they need to make their lives the best they can be. We can do that without the military."
You won't read that in the Examiner.