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Parents Mounting Campaign to End ROTC Program

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San Diego parents and community members are mounting a campaign to end a Junior ROTC program that allows high school students to shoot guns at campus firing ranges. KPBS Reporter Ana Tintocalis has more.

The Junior ROTC's Air-Rifle Marksmanship Program is an after-school program that's offered at most San Diego high schools. It’s been around for about 80 years, but now community members want to block the expansion of the program at two campuses -- Lincoln and Mission Bay High Schools. Activist Mshinda Nyofu says training kids to use guns sends the wrong message, and it goes against the district's zero tolerance policy on weapons.

Nyofu: We're looking at this fundamental aspect of the duplicitous policy that allows and privileges the military to train children. We're talking about adults, we're talking about children -- how to shoot weapons. And then where does that lead them psychologically. 

But Junior ROTC officials say the program doesn't violate the zero tolerance policy because adults supervise students while they're using the rifles. Nyofu says a community forum has been set next week to drum up support against the program.  

Ana Tintocalis, KPBS News.

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