Junior ROTC instructor loses appeal to keep job
Lt. Col. Robert Blake appealed decision to not renew contract
SAN ANTONIO - Trustees with the North East ISD voted against overturning the termination of a MacArthur J-ROTC instructor late Wednesday night.
Lt. Col. Robert Blake lost his job after allegations of student hazing among members of the high school's drill team.
Blake appealed the NEISD Board’s decision not to renew his contract after finding he failed to adequately supervise the ROTC drill team in February, leading to an incident in which an underclassman claimed he was hazed by fellow cadets.
Testifying on his behalf, Blake admitted he wasn’t present when the alleged incident, in which the cadet claims he was forced to do push-ups until he passed out, occurred, but said it was unreasonable to expect he and another instructor to fully supervise four practices at the same time.
“That is not a realistic rule that no one can comply with,” said Blake. “You can’t be everywhere at once. You can’t be in the showers. You can’t be all those places all the time.”
The district, though, identified other incidents of hazing with students alleging physical violence, including a cadet being punched in the groin.
“No student should ever have to be subjected to physical or verbal harassment, anything like that, and it just simply will not be tolerated,” said district spokeswoman Aubrey Chancellor.
The district also found Blake violated policy by identifying the cadet who claimed he was hazed to his fellow cadets, potentially making him a target for more harassment.
Blake said he had a strict policy against hazing, but the district stated he didn't do enough to stop it, particularly students being forced or compelled to do push-ups.
District police are also investigating the case, and students involved in the alleged hazing are facing possible criminal charges.
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