J.R.O.T.C. in West Valley Spared… For Now
Yesterday, I was alarmed to hear from a couple of KATS listeners that the J.R.O.T.C. program in the West Valley School District was on the chopping block.
There was a tremendous outpouring of support from members of the community at a school board hearing last night to help determine the program's fate.
I received a heartfelt e-mail from Sean Tabayoyon (featured in this piece along with his son Chris) earlier this morning with the results from last night's meeting:
"During the comments from the public, there were dozens of people lined up to speak... Students, parents, grandparents, retired and active military, and people with just a general interest in saving the program.
It took almost 2 hours to get through everyone. When I left at 9pm to get my little ones in to the bath, the board was still discussing the issue. Mr. Meyer of the board shared the school district’s mission statement and said that he saw and heard many examples of the values that the board is supposed to be committed to. He recommended that the board explore other ways to keep the program going.
Chris told me when he came home, just before 10pm, that his 8th grade classmates told him that they were afraid to speak, until they saw him do it.
I spoke after him and came to tears because I was so proud of him for doing it."It seems, for now at least, that the J.R.O.T.C. program has staved off elimination which, in my opinion, is a great success story. To help illustrate the value that it can have in a young person's life, I present you with the words of an old classmate, Mr. Troy Endicott, who messaged me after I mentioned him in the article I wrote yesterday:
Thank you for the note.
My brother and I are products of the Jr. high program, and he actually completed the high school program with amazing scholarship opportunities. Todd is now a Navy senior officer, doctor, and former aviator.
On behalf of our family, I'd be happy to write a letter of endorsement on how JROTC sets young kids up for success, gives them an edge for commissioning programs (eg., I'm a product of a 4-year university ROTC scholarship program) and offers a unique perspective for youth in a society where less than 1% serve in the military.