In search of discipline The

In search of discipline
The BBC thinks U.S. schools are being militarized: Military recruiters can contact high school students, enlistees are offered college benefits and poor blacks and Hispanics can escape chaotic schools for disciplined, structured academies.

There’s no doubt that academies and JROTC programs appeal most to kids who’ve grown up in dangerous neighborhoods with lousy schools. Students crave order, a sense of purpose and pride and attention from responsible men. Is it so awful to give that to them?

The BBC quotes a woman who disapproves:

“It’s giving hope to a lot of people that frankly don’t have a lot of other options in our society.”

Apparently, she wishes to take that hope away.

The reporter visits a school, mostly Hispanic, with a history of mob violence. Upstairs is Patton Military Academy.

One floor up from Farragut, the students in this military academy learn the patriotic creed and flag folding in a rigid, disciplined environment.

Actually, they learn normal high school subjects, not just jingoism and flag folding.

The attraction for students is that the military pay their tuition fees for their higher education.

But, in return, students have to join the army, the reserves or the National Guard.

Students who don’t want to join don’t have to.

Bronzeville student Elizabeth Stewart had signed up for the army — but did not understand the extent of her commitment.

Her college bills were paid by the military. But now she and her mother are faced with the realities of National Guard service — she could be sent to the Middle East.

She went through Bronzeville Military Academy and college, but just now figured out that military service sometimes involves being sent to dangerous places? She must be angling for a stupidity discharge.

Angie Schultz, who sent me to the BBC story, suggests reading the comments. BBC’s British listeners seem to have a serious case of the vapors, though a few wish UK students had the military academy option. I have to wonder: The Brits have a military too. Don’t they have military recruiters? Aren’t there poor kids who see the military followed by college as a better choice than joining a street gang?

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