School group favors opening JROTC at Nashua high school
Col. Kevin Grady, an ROTC instructor at Alvirne High School in Hudson, presented an overview of the program to the Board of Education’s Curriculum and Evaluation Committee this week.
If approved by the full board, JROTC will start in September at either Nashua High North or Nashua High South, but the program will be open to students at both schools.
“It’s really a citizenship and character development program,” said Grady. “We are not in the military recruiting business.”
Grady said other required courses were developed to help students learn real-life skills that are not always taught in high schools.
“Generally, we don’t have a hard time getting kids to cut their hair and adopt a military look,” he said, adding that the Air Force picks up the cost of uniforms and also pays for textbooks, course equipment and field trips.
Conrad added the cost of teacher salaries would not increase the school budget. The JROTC program would be offered in place of other courses, and Conrad said teacher retirements may make it possible to add the JRTOC instructors to the staff without any changes.
Grady said other districts that have started JROTC programs have seen a change in their school cultures.
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