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Educators complain after military jeep makes turn in school parking lot

Date Posted: 2008-03-30

Teachers at the Okinawa Prefectural High School for the Mentally Disabled are screaming after a military vehicle entered its parking lot for the second time in less than nine months to make a U-turn.
The military jeep made a U-turn about 30 meters inside the front gate to the school in Uruma City, then departed less than two minutes later. The visit was the second to the school in recent months. A Marine Corps armored vehicle used the same parking lot for a turn-around point last July 18th. The entry was witnessed by some of the 70 teachers working at the school during Spring vacation.
There were no students on the premises of the school for disabled students at the time. The Okinawa Prefecture Board of Education says it planned to file a protest with the U.S. military over the incident, noting promises had been made after earlier unauthorized entries to school grounds. Another military vehicle had used the parking area of Okinawa Prefectural Maehara High School to make a U-turn last August 6th. Maehara is located about one kilometer from the school for the disabled.
The Board of Education says “the military promised to take thorough measures to stop vehicles from doing it again,” then notes the latest incursion came right on the heels of other incidents involving American military personnel. Morikazu Nakamura, the board superintendent, says there must be more rigid rules and training in effect for military drivers so they know where they are.

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