The head of the City Council’s Education Committee wants to shoot down the school system’s Junior ROTC programs — charging they’re training high-school students for a “war machine.”
Councilman Daniel Dromm, a Queens Democrat, said he has a “philosophical problem” with the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs conducted in 14 schools.
“I always wondered why these programs are mainly in schools with students of color,” he said last week during a City Hall hearing. “I have concerns about the way they go about recruitment. It contributes to a war machine, and I have some problems with that.”
Schools officials were taken aback.
If liberal Democrats would like to shed the image of being reflexively anti-military, maybe they should give up being reflexively anti-military.
Quite a few of the commenters here are actually NJROTC classmates of mine. And coincidentally, yes, they did join the service after high school. But by no means did a majority of our ROTC classmates.
And one of the co-authors here was an NJROTC alum (at a different school), and didn’t join the service.
Normally, Junior ROTC in a high school is an elective class. But in some schools, with voluntary enrollment, all students are part of the Junior ROTC program. I remember when Chicago opened an “All ROTC” school. The competition to get in was fierce. Students and their families craved the opportunity to attend a school with greater structure, and where malcontents and disruptive students would not consume the vast majority of resources.
As for the program itself, I seem to recall the stated mission of Junior ROTC was to promote citizenship. To better prepare young men and women for life as citizens of our nation. While the program was certainly friendly to the concept of students enlisting, it by no means meant anyone was pressured or “soft” recruited. Heck, there was no requirement that someone be eligible to enlist in order to be a high school cadet in good standing.
Junior ROTC has been a boon to students, particularly minority students in low income urban areas. Perhaps Councilman Dromm hates poor minority students.