JROTC in Our Schools

JROTC in Our Schools

Jill Wynns supports JROTC as a choice for students 

Jill Wynns has consistently been the school board’s voice for students, families and schools in their effort to keep JROTC in SFUSD high schools. She is the only incumbent running for re-election who has consistently supported JROTC in every board vote and in the public discussion.

The debate over whether to continue the JROTC program in San Francisco high schools has made national news. Now Jill is supporting JROTC backers who are campaigning for Prop. V, an advisory measure asking San Francisco voters to support keeping JROTC.

To learn more about Jill’s views on JROTC, read her commentary:

A steadfast liberal’s view: How JROTC benefits youth 

By Jill Wynns

How did a longtime liberal/progressive who has demonstrated against wars from Vietnam to Iraq become the San Francisco school board’s champion of JROTC in our schools? People have been asking me that question since the JROTC issue erupted in San Francisco and hit the national news.

A Sunday Chronicle article, “Pitched battle over ROTC in S.F. schools,” summed up the current situation in that saga: “The 90-year-old JROTC will end in June [2009] – unless the district school board has an 11th-hour change of heart sometime before then. A Nov. 4 ballot measure, Proposition V, hopes to sway the board with a nonbinding vote of public support for the program.”

It’s especially unfortunate that the Board of Education voted in June to eliminate PE credit for JROTC. (I was the lone vote for keeping PE credit, with two board members absent for that meeting.) That meant a rush of students who had been in JROTC enrolled in PE, forcing our schools to hire seven new PE teachers. But it was too late to eliminate the JROTC classes that suddenly lost their enrollment, so we have to spend almost $1 million to pay those now-unneeded JROTC instructors. That’s $1 million that was desperately needed for other classroom needs.

I’m far from the only liberal in this paradoxical situation – becoming a visible supporter of a program run by the military. Like others, I have a longtime record that would look far-left to middle America. I marched against the Vietnam war. I opposed the Bush wars and went to demonstrations against the Iraq war.

But I have learned that progressive politics does not exist in a vacuum. We have to consider the practical realities: How do our decisions affect real students and schools every day?

Simply put, many students have benefited from JROTC.  (Click here to read the rest of the commentary.)

These news articles from the San Francisco Chronicle track the JROTC controversy over the past 2 1/2 years, and show Jill’s support for the program.

Board has plan to oust ROTC from S.F. schools
Members want to cut program over ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell’
San Francisco Chronicle, May 23, 2006 

Board of Education members Mark Sanchez and Dan Kelly announced that they would propose a resolution to eliminate JROTC, which has 1,600 members in seven SFUSD high schools. Jill Wynns said she supported keeping JROTC.

Read more here

School Board Votes to Dump JROTC Program
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 15, 2006 

The BOE voted 4-2 on Nov. 14, 2006, to phase out the JROTC program in San Francisco high schools over two years, approving a resolution sponsored by Dan Kelly and Mark Sanchez. Wynns was one of two votes against killing the program.

Read more here

S. F. school board delays decision on reprieve for JROTC program
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 13, 2007 

School board president Mark Sanchez removed a resolution on JROTC from the meeting agenda after the meeting began, saying it didn’t have enough support. The resolution, by Sanchez and Kim-Shree Maufas, called for extending the program for an additional year, but contained what JROTC supporters said were poison pills ensuring JROTC’s death.
Read more here

Board approves year extension for high schools’ JROTC program
Classes allowed to count for physical education credit
San Francisco Chronicle Dec. 13, 2007 

The Board of Education voted 5-2 to approve a revised plan that would allow JROTC to continue for a year. JROTC backers supported this version of the plan. Mark Sanchez and Eric Mar were the two votes against the extension.
Read more here

S.F. schools’ P.E. credit for JROTC survives
San Francisco Chronicle, June 18, 2008 

At a special meeting with the bare minimum 24 hours’ notice given – and no official start time given – the Board of Education deadlocked with a tie vote on a resolution by Jane Kim and Norman Yee to eliminate PE credit for JROTC, which JROTC backers say would effectively kill the program. The vote was 3-3, with Jill Wynns, Hydra Mendoza and Kim-Shree Maufas voting to keep the P.E. credit. Resolution co-sponsor Jane Kim was absent.
Read more here

JROTC supporters upset over school board’s second vote on program
San Francisco Chronicle, June 26, 2008 

JROTC advocates objected to the fact that Board of Education President Mark Sanchez called a special meeting on short notice, at 4 p.m. on a weekday, to take a new vote on a resolution sponsored by Norman Yee and Jane Kim to eliminate P.E. credit for JROTC. A previous vote on the resolution had tied 3-3, and two of the three board members who voted to keep P.E. credit for JROTC were out of town for the new special meeting.
Read more here

School board kills P.E. credit for JROTC
San Francisco Chronicle, June 27, 2008 

The Board of Education approved a resolution by members Norman Yee and Jane Kim to end awarding P.E. credit for JROTC, which JROTC supporters said would effectively end the program because it’s difficult for many students to fit both JROTC and P.E. into the school day. Jill Wynns cast the lone vote against the resolution, with two previous votes against the resolution – Kim-Shree Maufas and Hydra Mendoza – out of town.
Read more here

Pitched battle over JROTC in S.F. schools
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 21, 2008 

Because of the timing of the Jane Kim/Norman Yee resolution eliminating P.E. credit for JROTC, SFUSD will have to spend an extra $1 million to pay JROTC instructors who now teach only a handful of students, along with seven new P.E. teachers to handle those students. The article also reports that promised leadership courses intended to replace JROTC aren’t panning out.
Read more here

Addendum
San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 22, 2008 

An item in the Chronicle’s “Corrections” column reports that Board of Education member Norman Yee, co-author of the resolution that effectively killed JROTC, maintains that he is in favor of keeping JROTC in SFUSD high schools, contrary to the description of him as a JROTC opponent in the previous day’s article.
Read more here