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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
San Francisco County, CA November 4, 2008 Election
Proposition V
Policy Against Terminating Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) Programs in Public High Schools
City of San Francisco

Declaration of Policy - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 179,639 / 54.63% Yes votes ...... 149,169 / 45.37% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Results as of Jan 24 10:41am, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (580/580)
Information shown below: Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Arguments |

Shall it be City policy to encourage the School Board to reverse its decision to terminate JROTC and to continue to offer JROTC in San Francisco public high schools?

Fiscal Impact from City Controller:
Should the proposed declaration of policy be approved by the voters, in my opinion, it would not increase the cost of government.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
If you vote "yes," you want to make it City policy to encourage the Board of Education to reverse its action to terminate the JROTC program and to continue to offer the program in San Francisco public high schools.

A NO vote on this measure means:
If you vote "no," you do not want to adopt this declaration of City policy.

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Arguments For Proposition V Arguments Against Proposition V
A vote for this ballot measure is a vote to give students and their families the choice to participate in JROTC, a high school leadership program that works.

The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (JROTC) program is a 90-year old leadership program in 7 public high schools, that teaches student discipline, leadership skills and importance of civic responsibility, It is a during and after-school program that serves over 1600 students. The School Board voted narrowly to end the program as a political statement. A few key facts on the program:

  • 90% of the participants are from minority groups, and over 50% are female. 88% of the student leaders were female in 2008, and in 2007 and 2008, the student leaders were female. Openly LGBT students are active among cadets and cadet leaders.
  • The JROTC program is overwhelmingly supported by the school administrators, parents and students. All of the 7 school principals are active in supporting JROTC. All of the 7 school Parent Teacher Student Associations (PTSAs) are active in supporting JROTC. Over 85% of students polled (JROTC and non-JROTC) support continuing the JROTC program.
  • Students and their instructors volunteer hundreds of community service hours to their schools as well as to the community at large. You have probably seen the cadets at volunteer efforts across the city.
  • Over 90% of the JROTC participants go on to college.

San Francisco JROTC is a model program of inclusion and personal achievement. Help us save this program as a choice for those who benefit from it.

Choice for Students - JROTC Co-Chairs:
Michael Bernick
Douglas Chan
Gwen Chan
Nelson Lum
Quincy Yu

Rebuttal to Arguments For
The proponents make the type of misleading statements that military recruiters always make.

The military is never mentioned.

JROTC claims 1600 cadets but the District reports only 1050. They claim high college enrollment rates and minority participation, but their rates are the same as for all District graduates. They don't mention the many children enrolled involuntarily.

JROTC pretends there is no discrimination. But there are no openly gay JROTC instructors, and LGBT cadets are denied benefits that other students can receive.

The Pentagon reports nearly half of all JROTC cadets join the military, and the District says there is no local data to the contrary.

The Pentagon's contract with the District says that JROTC will provide "a course of military instruction." Period. It says nothing about a program promoting the well-being of children.

The School Board listened carefully to what students said. Nearly 75% of cadets said they were motivated by the desire to avoid physical education and about half said they would like a non-military marching program. 800 students signed a petition to remove JROTC. In response, the Board committed $1 million for new leadership programs which begin this year.

We don't need the military in our schools to provide programs for leadership and community service. Vote No on V.

Supervisor Ross Mirakirimi
Tommi Avicolli Mecca
Robert Haaland, Pride at Work*
Medea Benjamin, Global Exchange
Siri Margarin, United for Peace and Justice
Gloria LaRiva, ANSWER Coalition*
Nathalie Hrizi, Students and Teachers Against JROTC
Jose Luis Pavon, Youth Organizer

  • For identification purposes only; author is signing as an individual and not on behalf of an organization.

The Pentagon aims much of its recruitment budget directly at teens, because they are impressionable. The Pentagon brags that nearly half of JROTC cadets eventually join the military.

San Francisco voted overwhelmingly in 2005 to prohibit military recruitment in our schools.

The School Board decided to phase out JROTC because San Franciscans do not want military recruiters in our schools and do not support a program that discriminates against the LGBT community with its "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policies.

The San Francisco Republican Party and military organizations around the country are leading the campaign to keep JROTC in our schools.

JROTC portrays military life as a series of adventures. JROTC units take field trips to military bases. Instructors are told to encourage student contact with recruiters. JROTC cadets bond to the military through drills and rote learning.

The Pentagon's JROTC program costs San Francisco taxpayers nearly $1 million per year. Instructors only need a high school diploma. Courses don't meet state curriculum standards.

On Election Day, after years of war in Iraq, the people of San Francisco will declare again that military recruitment targeting children as young as 14 in our schools is simply wrong. Vote no on V!

Supervisors Tom Ammiano, Bevan Dufty, Jake McGoldrick, Chris Daly
Mark Sanchez, School Board President
Dan Kelly, former School Board President
L. Ling-Chi Wang, Professor Emeritus*
Michael Wong, Veterans for Peace*
Gordon Mar
Mary Ratcliff, San Francisco Bayview Newspaper
Rafael Mandelman, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
Howard L. Wallace, Senior Action Network
Glenda Hope, Network Ministries*
Ted Gullicksen, San Francisco Tenants Union*
Stephen Funk, Iraq Veterans Against the War*
Alan Lessik, American Friends Service Committee

  • For identification purposes only; author is signing as an individual and not on behalf of an organization.

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
The opponents of JROTC try to confuse the main issue of this ballot measure, the right of students and their parents to have choice and the success of JROTC as a high school program. They try to link JROTC with a number of issues - the Iraq War, George Bush, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and the Pentagon - that they know are not popular with San Francisco voters, but have nothing to do with JROTC.

The opponents cannot contest that JROTC is supported by every school principals, parent-teacher student associations, and the vast majority of students of each of the seven high schools: Balboa, Burton, Galileo, Washington, Lowell, Mission and Lincoln.

The opponents cannot contest that the vast majority of JROTC participants go to college, not the military.

The opponents cannot contest that JROTC cadets volunteer hundreds of hours in community service projects.

The opponents cannot contest that the overwhelming majority of non-JROTC teachers and students at the participating high schools support JROTC.

Regarding recruitment, the opponents' argument is patently false.

FACT: JROTC Instructors are prohibited from recruiting by their own JROTC regulations and guidelines.

SF School District only pays for 50% of JROTC Program and 100% of all other programs. If JROTC is taken away, the SFUSD must now fund 100% of the P.E. teacher salaries and benefits that will be needed to replace the JROTC program. San Francisco will have to pay double or more to replace JROTC.

Choice for Students - JROTC

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