NewsLocal News


Community split over JROTC instructor's comment

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jun 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 22:45:21-04

LEE COUNTY, FLA — "He put his hand out and told me 'get my hand and choke yourself,'" said a Southwest Florida teen.

It's a comment from a few weeks ago, that caught the Lehigh Senior High School student by surprise.

To protect her and her mother's identity, we're not showing their faces or using their names.

"I was very confused so I asked him 'What did you say?' and he repeated himself. So I walked away. As I'm walking away he yells out 'Don't be scared,'" she said.

The man behind those words has been identified as a JROTC instructor at the school.

The Lee County School District confirmed the incident in a statement and said the teacher apologized to the family and is being "disciplined."

But they wouldn't confirm what the punishment was.

"He's being disciplined? Disciplined how?" said the teen's mother.

The family told FOX 4 on Friday, that the only other thing the school administration did, in this case, was offered to have the girl removed from the class.

They say it's not enough and they want that teacher gone.

It's a comment that brought almost 2,000 of you to our comment section on Facebook to weigh in.

Many of you quickly pointed, that what the instructor said was likely a reference to Stanley Kubrick's film "Full Metal Jacket," which came out in 1987.

But even with knowing the possible nature of the comment, it still has the community divided, with some of you saying it was inappropriate and that he shouldn't have said it, joke or not. But others say the movie reference is being taken too seriously and that jokes like that are common in military settings.

In the end, that mom says her daughter is no longer in the class because she doesn't want to be around him.

"So I did request for her to remove my daughter from that building so at this point she now goes to the guidance counselor," said the teen's mom.

FOX 4 was told by the school district to wait two weeks, before requesting the JROTC sergeant's personnel file to learn how he was disciplined for the comment.

We'll be making that request at the end of this week.