Allegations against many public schools in America; Children forced into military career

Thousands of children being forced into a military career: allegations against many public schools in America, children and parents are protesting

Dec 13, 2022 - 09:37
Allegations against many public schools in America; Children forced into military career

Thousands of children studying in America's schools are being pushed towards military careers without their consent. A report in The New York Times has revealed this. It has been told in the report that there are many public schools across the country that are forcibly recruiting their children to study in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps of the US Military i.e. JROTC.
Andrea Thomas, studying at Pershing High School in the US city of Detroit, has informed The New York Times about this. She said, on the first day of school, when she looked at my school schedule, I found out that I had been enrolled in a JROTC class without my consent. I told the school administration several times to cut mine but even after that, it was not done. Like Andrea, many children and their parents have spoken to the Times about their concerns about the course.
Actually, the US Military funds the JROTC program in America. In this, children are prepared to join the military. All the children who take admitted have to go through rigorous training to learn leadership, various skills, and discipline. The training for this program is given by retired soldiers from the military. It has centers in about 3500 schools in America. It is believed that after passing through this training, most of the children move towards making the military a career.
The Times checked more than 200 records to uncover the truth about the JROTC program. It came to light that this program has been made compulsory in dozens of schools. That is, the children who take admitted to the school will have to go through this training. It was also revealed in the report that most of the children admitted to this training are black and come from families of economically weaker sections.
According to the Times, the JROTC program in America is more than 100 years old. There have been controversies about this many times in the past as well. There were several demonstrations in the US in the 1970s during the Vietnam War. In which the people of troubled America demanded an end to the war. During this time there were also allegations that many high school kids enrolled in the JROTC program were being sent to Vietnam to fight. Because of this schools in many districts had banned this program.
Pentagon officials repeatedly say that JROTC is not a means of recruiting soldiers. Despite this, the Pentagon wants its budget to be around $400 million a year. Since 1970, the budget of this program has increased three times. According to the Army, 44 percent of newly recruited soldiers are JROTC graduates. High school principals believe that children who enroll in such programs are more disciplined than other children. Military officers also have some similar views. Citing research, an army officer told the Times that the rate of graduation of students enrolled in this program is higher than others.
The number of youths enlisting in the US military is steadily decreasing. In the financial year 2022, 45 thousand youths were recruited into the army while the government's target was to recruit 60 thousand youths. In terms of the number of recruitments, it was the worst year since 1973. Army Secretary Christine Wermuth has said that the army may have to close some of its units due to the shortage of soldiers. Also, the National Guard and Reserve Army may have to go on normal duty.
Corona epidemic is being considered a major reason behind the decreasing recruitment. Due to the lockdown, the academic performance of the youth has dropped and problems like mental health and obesity have increased.
This year, the percentage of youth eligible to join the army decreased from 29 to 23 percent. Only 9 percent of these eligible youth want to join the army. The compulsory Covid vaccination policy of the army has also had a negative impact on the recruits. In fact, one-third of 18 to 24-year-olds in the US have not been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Muskan Kumawat Journalist & Writer