At a 5,000-student, nearly all Latino high school in Los Angeles, the Junior ROTC program has lost nearly half its cadets in recent years, reports the LA Times. Some Roosevelt High teachers are trying to get the program dropped.
Teacher Gillian Russom said (color guard drill) training instills the wrong values: following orders, dressing the same and relying on rote memorization rather than critical thinking. “That’s necessary for a successful military, but does it create the kind of citizens we want?”
Presumably she oppposes the marching band too.
Nationwide, “40% of students who graduated from high school with two or more years of JROTC ended up in the military,” according to a recent survey. But only three Roosevelt cadets have enlisted in the last three years, says First Sgt. Otto Harrington, the instructor. They’re not qualified.
Only 5% of his cadets would even qualify to enlist, he said, because the rest are in the country illegally, couldn’t pass the military aptitude test, are in trouble with the law or are overweight.
One of LA’s lowest performing schools, Roosevelt is being “reorganized” in the hopes of improving student achievement and boosting the graduation rate.