Students received awards for the Cadet Challenge outside of Mira Mesa High School Monday night as some worry about the JROTC program being threatened.
The San Diego Unified School Distict is now holding meetings to calm those fears.
Concerns that students may no longer be able to get a P.E. credit for ROTC started when the state said the San Diego Unified School District’s ROTC teachers were not credentialed to teach P.E.
“At the beginning of the year I thought ROTC was going to lose P.E. credit and I was kind of scared because freshmen and sophomores need P.E. credit,” JROTC student Matthew Punsalan said. “I was kind of scared for upcoming freshmen and sophomores.”
The district is trying to reassure parents and students that the program isn’t going anywhere, and that they will still be able to get credit for P.E.
“We’re really a great program. It’s really fun. Even if you didn’t get P.E. credit I highly suggest it as an elective,” one enthusiastic ROTC student at Mira Mesa High School told NBC 7.
“I feel like it’s still a great program, but I feel like with P.E. credit it would be much better and we would have more cadets in it,” another student explained.
For this school year, students will still get P.E. credit because the district found a way around the state rule. Next year ROTC teachers will need to be credentialed, and the district is going to help pay for it.
“There are actually three subtests and each one of us passed one of the three so we have to return sometime soon,” Retired Lt. Colonel Charlie Olander said. “Two of us have to get our heads together and hit the books again and do some studying. And quite honestly we don’t have the young brain cells that the younglings have, but we’ll do our best.”
The district has assured parents teachers will get the credential without problems, but told them that in the unlikely event they did not pass the district would find a way to keep ROTC and the P.E. credit.
“We will pass it and everything will be fine,” Master Sergeant Randy Crouch said. “We do it for the kids.”
Instructors at Adison and Point Loma High Schools are also getting their credential. Scripps Ranch High School is going to use a co-teaching model, and Serra High School is hiring a P.E. teacher.