A career student and writer for a New York-based democratic socialist magazine has called for an end to the Junior ROTC program in America’s schools, claiming the institution creates a breeding ground for murderers and mass shooters.
Jonah Walters, a writer for the Marxist publication Jacobin and a graduate student working on his Ph.D.at Rutgers University, took aim at the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs, particularly when it comes to school shootings.
“A smattering of information has been revealed about Connor Betts, the misogynist twenty-four-year-old who killed nine people and injured twenty-seven in Dayton earlier this month,” he wrote. “One of them was that he was in the Bellbrook High School Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program, according to a classmate. We know little about Betts’s time in the program, the training he received, or what impact it had on him. But it’s worth mentioning that we have thousands of kids in America getting military training at school.”
Walters went on to criticize the JROTC program, particularly the aspect of marksmanship training and use of school shooting ranges in order to hone skills.
“About 2,200 schools offer hands-on marksmanship training, according to data from the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a government-chartered entity that collaborates with JROTC units to create and maintain school shooting ranges,” Walters wrote in his Jacobin article, titled “We Need to Get the US Army Out of High Schools.” “Until about 2000, students were usually trained on .22-caliber rifles, but nowadays instructors use pellet guns.”
The Rutgers graduate went on to accuse the JROTC program of being little more than a shameless recruiting scheme, as roughly half of JROTC-enrolled high school graduates enlist in the military.
“JROTC units are supervised by retired military officers who are exempt from civilian teaching certification requirements,” he wrote.
Lastly, Walters claimed that ASVAB tests are bad for America’s youth “or other living things,” and criticized schools that required the ASVAB as part of the curriculum.
Earning his Bachelor’s Degree from New York University, Walters received his Master’s from Rutgers, and is still enrolled at the school in hopes of obtaining his Ph.D.
Founded in 2010, Jacobin is described as a Marxist publication with the Democratic Socialist demographic in mind. The publication grew in popularity following Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.
“A society that teaches violence is a violent society,” the publication wrote of the JROTC on Twitter. “We need to get the JROTC out of our schools.”
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