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Usurping "Choice"
Posted by: McQ on Monday, November 20, 2006

I don't know if you've been watching this little kerfuffle out in San Francisco about the school board voting out JROTC as an elective, but it is quite instructive, and Debra Sanders hits on why with a quote from, get ready, Jerry Brown (now mayor of Oakland):
Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, a JROTC alum, was appalled at the board's decision. As Brown told me, "The notion of the new left is decentralization. It's choice. It's respect for difference. It's diversity. All four of those principles were fundamentally violated by the school board."

And: "I oppose the war in Iraq, too, but that has nothing to do with the value of ROTC and the right of people to choose that."
Essentially the school board decided that the choice was theirs to make, not one for students or parents. And so, using the lame "gay discrimination" excuse (aka "don't ask, don't tell") they voted it out 4-2.

Never mind that the program is popular and a huge benefit to exactly the sort of kids you want to save - "at risk" children. Forget about the fact that it teaches leadership, self-sufficiency and responsibility, all attributes any successful person recognizes as critical. Nope. Political correctness and a political statement won out over the needs of children.

And as Saunders points out, San Francisco's JROTC program doesn't discriminate against any children in that program, gay or otherwise.

So, we have a school board tossing aside the welfare of the children in it's charge in order to make a political statement.

Is that their job?

Jerry Brown wasn't the only one appalled. To his credit, even Gavin Newsom, mayor of SF, couldn't abide with this decision:
S.F. Mayor Gavin Newsom also is unhappy. He has seen enrollment in the district drop — with more than 1,000 fewer students attending San Francisco public schools this year than last year. "You think this is going to help keep families in San Francisco?" Newsom said of the vote. "No, it's going to hurt."
Any member of a school board who chooses to make a political statement through their policy decisions which effect the welfare of the children within that system, as does this vote, deserve to be voted out of office at the next available opportunity. In fact, this sort of irresponsibility calls for a recall election. Perhaps then the new incoming school board can also set this travesty right and reinstate JROTC in the San Francisco school district.
 
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"...the fact that it teaches leadership, self-sufficiency and responsibility, all attributes any successful person recognizes as critical."
Come on McQ, you know the last thing a good socialist wants is self sufficiency and responsibility from the masses. Domino’s and all that. You start thinking for yourself and you don’t need yo-yo’s like this ’taking care’ of you.

 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Choice choice is for gay people and those wishing to murder babies... everything else falls under "False Consciousness". People are FALSELY choosing JROTC and the MILITARY, in general. In that case we have a moral/legal obligation to prevent them from making the wrong choices.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"In that case we have a moral/legal obligation to prevent them from making the wrong choices."

Who died and elected you God? Who are you to tell me what choice to make? Are you now going to tell me, even when given a choice, you are the superior person and therefore have the right to tell me what to chose? Who the hell are you?

And if not you, then who? Who or what organization sets itself up as the arbiter for choices I may make?

Tell you what, slick. So, what’s next? How about the following:

Register to vote? You must register (insert the politically correct party name here).

Going to College? Select from the following list (List the politically correct institutions here).

You want me to go on? Well, I have a suggestion: You can shove your "moral/legal obligation" up your (list the appropriate body orifice here)!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Who died and elected you God?
You have to read Joe a while to realize he mostly tries to beat whoever might show up here from the opposite side of any argument and get their cliches down before they can.

He always forgets, however, to put the [/sarcasm] tag (or any other appropriate tag) on his comment when he does so.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
gotta disagree with you McQ...

first, which of the three Rs is JROTC? given how bad the public schools are, shouldn’t they focus ALL of their efforts on teaching kids to read and write?

don’t libertarians/conservatives usually oppose schools expanding their mission in life to include all sorts of stuff like this? or is just liberal-themed stuff we’re supposed to oppose, while good conservative stuff life JROTC and bible studies are ok for schools to get into?

and as far as turning the board out, isn’t the school board supported by the majority of people in SF (notwithstanding the relative few who have kids in JROTC)? shouldn’t an elected body take action consistent with the wishes of the electorate? shouldn’t we save throwing the bums out for situations where they don’t do what we want?

Look, if it were up to me, I’d leave the program in. but I don’t live in SF and I’ve got to respect their right to organize things the way they want... otherwise, I have no grounds to complain when they (the collective they) try to impose their values on my school system. And if they want to do something like this, they’re free to do so... just as much as we’re free to laugh at them. I’m just glad they tend to congregate in places in SF... for if they weren’t there, we’d have to deal with them in our neighborhoods.
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
first, which of the three Rs is JROTC?
Which of the three R’s is shop? History? Computer science? As I pointed out, it’s an elective.
don’t libertarians/conservatives usually oppose schools expanding their mission in life to include all sorts of stuff like this?
Nope. Libertarians wouldn’t have any objection if the product of the whole experience is a good education which includes those three R’s you’re so worried about.
and as far as turning the board out, isn’t the school board supported by the majority of people in SF (notwithstanding the relative few who have kids in JROTC)? shouldn’t an elected body take action consistent with the wishes of the electorate? shouldn’t we save throwing the bums out for situations where they don’t do what we want?
I don’t think anyone suggested that they weren’t so supported when they were first elected. But this decision was made after they were elected. So I’m not sure how the claim they were previously the choice of the majority relates to a decision made after the election. Given the decision that may no longer be true. A very easy way to find out is to have a recall.
Look, if it were up to me, I’d leave the program in. but I don’t live in SF and I’ve got to respect their right to organize things the way they want... otherwise, I have no grounds to complain when they (the collective they) try to impose their values on my school system.
Let’s not get carried away, Steve. The fact that 4 people decided that JROTC had to go doesn’t mean they reflect the majority or their decision is a good one. It only means that on that board there were more of them than those opposed.

The argument is about the merits of the program and the choices those attending school should be able to make without interference from a group who wants to make a political statement unrelated to the primary mission for which they were elected.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I won’t argue your point about libertarians not opposing this although my understanding is that libertarians tend to like the gov’t getting involved in things only as much as is necessary... and JROTC is by no means a necessary component of getting an education.

and if (JROTC) is "unrelated to the primary mission for which they were elected", then by definition JROTC is a secondary, somewhat trivial issue and, thus, not one I’d get all bent out of shape over... any more than I’d care if the school board banned coke machines from cafeterias or got rid of athletic teams because they disliked jocks.

I’m sticking with thinking their actions are supported by the voters. remember, we are talking about SF, right? Aside from a few tears and some Brown/Newsom complaints, have I missed the stories about the good people of SF taking to the street to protest against this outrageous decision? heck, they’ll protest at the drop of a hat, so isn’t their being quiet on this issue a good indicator of support? and if you’re right, we should expect to see recall petitions being filed any day now.

I’d bet that the 4 members of the school board (which is all it takes to set policy when you have a 6-7 person board), along with the support of most of SF, DO think it is a matter related to the primary purpose of educating kids. they don’t want kids getting educated ’that way’(whichever way isn’t important, as I’m arguing in favor of letting them do what they want, no matter how silly it might be).
 
Written By: steve
URL: http://
I won’t argue your point about libertarians not opposing this although my understanding is that libertarians tend to like the gov’t getting involved in things only as much as is necessary... and JROTC is by no means a necessary component of getting an education.
You’ll find most libertarians arguing that the federal government should stay out of it. As to what is taught, that is and should be a local decision. No one is questioning that. What’s being questioned is the basis for the dropping of JROTC. It has nothing to do with what is best for the kids or necessary for education.
and if (JROTC) is "unrelated to the primary mission for which they were elected", then by definition JROTC is a secondary, somewhat trivial issue and, thus, not one I’d get all bent out of shape over... any more than I’d care if the school board banned coke machines from cafeterias or got rid of athletic teams because they disliked jocks.
I don’t agree with your assessment of "necessary for education". It is certainly much narrower than anyone would agree with in today’s society. Electives are an integral part of every school’s curriculum and also required for graduation. So if that’s the basis of your argument, I don’t think it is very credible.
I’m sticking with thinking their actions are supported by the voters. remember, we are talking about SF, right?
Obviously you can stick with whatever you wish, but since you’re reminding me it’s SF, I’d remind you that the mayor of that city and Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown both of whom normally find activist agendas very appealing, found this decision to be a horrible one ... so I wouldn’t bet the house on your assumption.
I’d bet that the 4 members of the school board (which is all it takes to set policy when you have a 6-7 person board), along with the support of most of SF, DO think it is a matter related to the primary purpose of educating kids. they don’t want kids getting educated ’that way’(whichever way isn’t important, as I’m arguing in favor of letting them do what they want, no matter how silly it might be).
I don’t think so. Not when the excuse given for the vote is the military’s policy on gays.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
which of the three Rs is JROTC?

Besides conflating the purposes of primary and secondary education, this argument ignores the heavy doses of reading, writing, and ’rithmetic that is included in the JROTC courses – not to mention the history, civics, physics, biology, and PE the courses get into. As McQ has noted, if it were really about furthering the education of the children in this program, it wouldn’t have been dropped.


shouldn’t an elected body take action consistent with the wishes of the electorate?

Ah, democracy. I am at least glad to see you refer to the school board as a collective “they”. No better word for it.
 
Written By: Wulf
URL: http://www.atlasblogged.com
I agree with Jerry Brown on something...looks like snowballs do exist in hell.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://

 
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