SD Concilio regarding SDUSD JROTC enrollment

Below is the latest in our struggle with the San Diego school district over JROTC enrollment.  Basically, we were double crossed by district staff after we negotiated an agreement to make changes in the JROTC enrollment consent form. We don't know for certain, but I strongly suspect it was the JROTC program manager who was calling the shots and vetoed the changes that would have presented negative facts about the program. This is the consequence of allowing military programs in schools. - Project YANO


San Diego Chicano/Latino Concilio on Higher Education

San Diego, California




May 24, 2024


TO: Board of Education, San Diego Unified School District



Concilio San DiegoThis correspondence reflects the analysis and advocacy of the San Diego Chicano/Latino Concilio on Higher Education that challenge the U.S. military's effort to maintain JROTC programs through the enrollment of working-class Chicano/Latino students. We are expressing our great disappointment in the San Diego Unified Schools' decision to support such enrollment, a practice that clearly undermines our community's efforts to increase college attendance and success among local Chicano/Latino students. We have attempted to work with the district to resolve this issue, but the district's recent actions have undermined our collaboration.

On May 10, 2023, our SD Concilio and other representatives of a broader, concerned coalition met with SDUSD board member Richard Barrera and the superintendent's chief of staff, Enrique Ruacho. Also present were Jennifer Roberson and one other administrative staff member. We discussed evidence that the San Diego Unified School district was "auto-enrolling" students into JROTC courses, often at schools with a significant enrollment of Chicano students. Such auto-enrollment of students in JROTC is a violation of the State of California's Education Code, Section 51750. At the meeting, there was a consensus among all present that auto-enrolling students in JROTC does indeed violate the state's education code.


We also had an extensive discussion of what constitutes student and parent "consent" that enables students to enroll in JROTC. It was and remains our contention that district schools currently utilize an enrollment permission form that does not constitute authentic, fully informed consent for students and parents.


On August 29, 2023, the SDCS Board of Education approved a resolution that included the following language (emphasis added):

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the fully informed consent of the student and the student's legal guardian shall be obtained via a signed consent form that is submitted to the high school before the student is enrolled in JROTC; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that any form used to obtain such consent shall acknowledge that the program is a voluntary, non-academic elective that cannot be required, and provide a method for the student and legal guardian to indicate whether or not JROTC is being chosen in place of regular physical education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that any such consent form shall identify JROTC as a leadership program designed by the military and conducted by retired military officers, and present a complete and accurate description of the program's special requirements and expectations that are imposed on students, including the scope of voluntary activities and time commitments that may fall outside regular school hours.

After the board resolution was adopted, we became aware that the consent form that was used for the 2023-2024 school year was not consistent with the sections of the resolution quoted above, especially the highlighted elements. On January 2, 2024, we sent the board a letter requesting major revisions in the enrollment form as soon as possible, and we asked to be allowed to participate in that process. Instead of being invited to discuss what would be included in the next version of the consent form, we were notified on January 18 that it had already been revised by district staff and that it would be sent to schools for 2024-2025 enrollments. When we reviewed the revised form, we saw that it did not fully reflect the spirit or letter of the board's JROTC enrollment resolution.


The Military’s Myth of Black Freedom

Nicole Young argues that Black people’s conscription into America’s endless war-making machine only ensures they will never be safe.

May 27, 2024 / Nicole G. Young / Yes! Solutions Journalism - "Black people, we were never patriots; we were pragmatists,” a friend said to me recently when we talked about both of our grandfathers’ years of military service and their reverberating effects in our lives. In a lot of ways I agree with her. While class mobility certainly drives many Black people into the military, it would be disingenuous to claim our participation is purely mercenary. The United States military promises Black people stability via economic security. However, there is an implied second promise: that through military service, Black people can access honor in our daily lives, in a country that does not treat us honorably as the default. But decades of Black participation in the U.S. military have highlighted the ways that this country has never intended to make good on either of these promises. 

My grandfather chose the military to continue a family legacy started by his father and other family members, and presumably to ensure that his future children and grandchildren would have access to the middle class. For most of my life—as a Black woman from the South, raised in a military town—I also believed in the guarantees made to Black military families. It took me far too long to understand that the drumbeat of war could not be relied upon. In fact, for Black people, the only thing that our conscription into America’s perpetual war-making machine actually ensures is that we will never be safe. 


California Senate to vote on sign-up for military draft

Selective Service to drive5/22/2024 / Edward Hasbrouck / - The California Senate will vote this week on a bill to automatically register register draft-age applicants for driver’s licenses and state IDs with the Selective Service System for a possible future military draft.

The floor vote in the state Senate on SB-1081 is expected this week and could come at any time. You can use this form to send a message today to your state Senator to oppose SB-1081.

SB-1081 was held in the ‘suspense’ file by the Senate Appropriations Committee, but was called up and sent to the floor for a vote by the full state Senate despite both Democratic and Republican opposing votes in committee, with only minor amendments that fail to assuage any of the opponents of the bill.

As amended, SB-1081 is still opposed by a diverse coalition including the ACLU, the California Immigrant Policy Center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild.

SB-1081 was amended to exempt applicants for driver’s licenses or state IDs who can’t prove lawful residence (but who still need licenses to drive) from being automatically registered with the Selective Service System (SSS). But foreign students and H-1 visa holders, who often live in the USA for years and get regular driver’s licenses, are considered “nonimmigrants” and aren’t required or allowed to register with the SSS.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) would have to question every draft-aged applicant for a driver’s license about their immigration and visa status, and record this information, to determine which drivers’ information to send to the SSS. Otherwise, thousands of individuals who are neither required nor allowed to register with the SSS, and who wouldn’t be subject to a draft, would automatically be mis-registered with the SSS — rendering the registration database less accurate than ever.

The SSS only allows or requires individuals to register for the draft if they were assigned male at birth, regardless of current gender. But applicants can self-select whether to have an “M”, “F”, or “X” gender marker on their California driver’s license, and the same is now true for U.S. passports and Social Security accounts. Especially for individuals born outside the USA, there may be no record in any current Federal or state record of their sex as assigned at birth. So the DMV would also have to question every draft-age applicant about their sex as assigned, and include this in DMV records, to determine who is, and who is not, required to register with the SSS.

All this would be costly. SB-1081 was amended to give the DMV more time to implement its requirements, but the analysis prepared for the Senate Appropriations Committee still found that it would have “unknown, likely significant” costs that would have to be borne from the state’s General Fund.

Tell your California Senator to just say “No” to SB-1081 and to using the state DMV to try to salvage the failed Federal scheme to gear up for a return to a military draft.

and share the following graphics on your social media to tell others to do the same:

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