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JROTC as a substitute for PE: really?

Monica A. F. Lounsbery, Kathryn A. Holt, Shannon A. Monnat, Thomas L. McKenzie, and Brian Funk - Physical inactivity is receiving growing attention given its documented relationship to a variety of chronic health (Strong et al., 2005) and metabolic challenges (Owen, Healy, Matthews, & Dunstan, 2010) and the fact that most adults and children do not meet physical activity guidelines (Troiano et al., 2008; USDHHS, 2008). For over two decades, the importance of schools in providing and promoting physical activity has been consistently emphasized (Institute of Medicine, 2013; Pate et al., 2008), but with the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001, school physical activity programs, including physical education (PE), have instead sustained reduced time and resource allocations (McKenzie & Lounsbery, 2009).

PE is a primary strategy because it (a) is institutionalized as part of the K-12 curriculum and as such, has the potential to reach nearly all students, (b) is the only program where the least active children can experience physical activity at higher intensities, and has the potential to significantly contribute to daily accrual of moderate to vigorous physical activity, increase fitness, develop and improve motor and other generalizable skills. Though PE is a key evidence-based strategy for providing and promoting physical activity (Institute of Medicine, 2013; Ward, 2011) and a goal of Healthy People 2020 (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010) there are many practice and policy barriers to its effective delivery; thus, its potential to impact health has not been fully realized (McKenzie & Lounsbery, 2009). Among these policy barriers is the pervasive practice of allowing waivers/exemptions and/or substitutions for physical education. This includes allowing alternative programs such as JROTC (Junior Reserve Officer’s Reserve Corps), interscholastic sports, marching band, cheerleading, and community sports to substitute for PE enrollment (NASPE, 2012), a practice which has been of great concern to the profession (Abernathy, 1960; NASPE, 2006; Sims, 2011) and public health officials (e.g., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011) for many years.

2013 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruiting and School De-militarization Organizing

Download the 2013 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruiting and School Demilitarizion OrganizingAugust 31, 2013--The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth announces today the public release of the 2013 Back-to-school Kit for Counter-recruitment and School Demilitarization Organizing. Released at the start of the fall 2013 school year, this kit is designed to provide community activists, concerned teachers, parents, and students, an up-to-date catalog of materials to counter the increasing efforts of the U.S. Department of Defense to militarize our youth in the public schools.

The 2013 Back-to-school Kit includes material organized in the categories of Counterrecruitment, Non-military Career, College and Service Alternatives, Gender and the Military, JROTC, Delayed Entry Program (DEP), and Privacy issues including Student  Opt Out and ASVAB testing.

A task force of the NNOMY steering committee, including Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities, Northwest Suburban Peace & Education Project, and Orange County Military Families Speak Out, organized this kit to ensure that activists have current material that can be used in schools according to equal access legal standards. Additionally, some items are specially marked to indicate if they have content that is not optimized for what the federal courts have allowed but are included in the catalog for other special purposes.

It is the hope of The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth that concerned teachers and guidance counselors, students, parents, enlisted personnel and veterans, and community activists will use the 2013 Backto-school Kit for Counter-recruitment and School Demilitarization Organizing to do effective counter-recruiting in their local schools and to encourage youths to consider  alternatives to military service before signing a military enlistment agreement.

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Marquette and ROTC: an unholy alliance

Daniel C. Maguire -

PROFESSOR DANIEL C. MAGUIREAt Marquette University, there are two contradictory schools of thought on war and both are — confusingly — taught to our students. One is based on the Judeo-Christian, Catholic, Jesuit moral tradition, and it is encapsulated in what is called "the Catholic just war theory." That theory puts the burden of proof on the warrior, not on the conscientious objector.

The theory states several conditions that must be met for a war to be called "justifiable." If a single condition is violated, the war is unjust and is nothing more than collective murder. As a purveyor of this Catholic "just war theory," the Jesuit John Courtney Murray said that there is no time when citizens should be more vocal than when their government is killing people in their name.

The other school of thought taught at Marquette is called the ROTC. ROTC does not accept or include in its independent curriculum the "Catholic just war theory," which defends the right of "selective conscientious objection to particular wars" for soldiers. Neither does its curriculum require course work on the biblical teaching of peace-making.

ROTC students are taught exactly what American law says, i.e., that when you swear into military service, you have surrendered your right to have moral objections to any war to which you are assigned. ROTC students are taught that the undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which claimed more than the population of Milwaukee in lost and displaced lives, are beyond the criticisms of "the Catholic just war theory."

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