Kiki Ochoa from the Education Not Arms Coalition wrote:
Subject: [razaeducators] VICTORIA!!! NO WEAPONS TRAINING IN OUR SCHOOLS!!
Over 300 parents, students, and community members came out in force and waited almost 6 hours four our action item on the agenda. A special Thank you to the AFSC office for the transportation and all the collectives who supported us last night. Mission Bay HS MEChA, Lincoln MEChA, SDSU MEChA, UCSD MEChA, Montgomery MEChA, Otay Ranch MECha, Hilltop MECha, Memorial Middle School, The Association or Raza Educators, the Raza Rights Coalition, Unión del Barrio, Project Yano, Latinos Unidos and many more [I apologize if anyone is excluded] came out and forced the Board of Education to create change and take one step towards the demilitarization of our schools.
Check out this clip:
Here’s the news release:
San Diego Silences JROTC Guns
Contact: Education Not Arms Coalition, email@example.com
February 10, 2009 (see photos below) – San Diego Unified, located in the middle of one of the largest military complexes in the world, took the uncharacteristic step of banning rifle training conducted under the military’s high school JROTC program. Eleven schools with rifle ranges were affected in the nation’s eighth largest urban district.
Before the board meeting began, speakers representing local high schools and colleges addressed an outside crowd of 200 students, parents, teachers and community supporters. Some high schools sent so many students that two charter buses, courtesy of the AFSC, were used for transportation. Anticipating a long evening before the school board would discuss the rifle training issue, the Association of Raza Educators provided tamales to help sustain the crowd.
It wasn’t until four hours into the board meeting, at 9:00 PM, that the agenda item came up for discussion. The vote was preceded by testimony from about 15 pro- and con- speakers in front of a crowd that was largely in favor of terminating the weapons training program. One school board member said that in all of his many years on the board, this was the most impressive student effort he had ever seen. Even two board members who opposed the resolution expressed their admiration for the students’ involvement. When the decision was made, the resolution, which immediately banned all marksmanship training in the district, passed by a vote of 3-2. The crowd then spilled out of the auditorium to hold a loud and joyous celebration.
This achievement was made possible by a collaboration of students and various community groups who first came together in 2007 as the Education Not Arms Coalition. One of their main concerns was the way schools were tracking students into military training (via JROTC) while denying them adequate class alternatives, especially ones needed to qualify for college. Students from African American and Latino families were being disproportionately affected.
To address the problem, the coalition adopted three initial goals–convince the school district to:
-stop placing students into military science (JROTC) classes without their informed consent.
-stop telling parents and students that the class will help them qualify for college, when it won’t.
-ban weapons training and JROTC gun ranges in San Diego schools.
All three goals have now been achieved, the first two by a superintendent’s directive, the third by school board action. Throughout the over one-year long campaign, high school students have played a central role in educating and mobilizing their peers, with support from a variety of community and college groups.
Audio of the entire Feb. 10 hearing and school board decision is posted on the SD Unified site: http://www.sandi.net/indices/board.htm. Video should be added soon.
For a video news report, visit: http://www.10news.com/video/18687674/index.html.
For more information: www.projectyano.org/educationnotarms/ <http://www.projectyano.org/educationnotarms/>
PHOTOS, FEBRUARY 10, 2009 . . .
About 150 students from a dozen schools, plus another 50 teachers, parents and
other supporters, rally at school district headquarters before school board meeting.
As the board meeting begins, a JROTC color guard and students
opposing JROTC rifle ranges stand face-to-face for the
pledge of allegiance.
After waiting 4-1/2 hours for the school board to vote, cheering students
celebrate their victory outside.
This is the actual text of the resolution passed by the school district:
Resolution in the Matter of Eliminating Marksmanship Training From San Diego Unified School District Schools
WHEREAS, the San Diego Unified School District has a zero-tolerance policy on weapons in schools and seeks, as one of its primary goals, to teach students to resolve conflicts without resorting to violence; and
WHEREAS, the District cannot risk sending a mixed message to students when some of their lives have been recently taken by gun violence;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that any existing school district property used for shooting ranges shall be immediately closed for that purpose and converted for other educational uses by the beginning of the next regular school year.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that marksmanship training, whether it is conducted on-campus or off-campus, and through textbooks or physical instruction, shall not be taught in connection with the San Diego Unified School District and shall be discontinued immediately.