The bugler lifts the brass instrument to his mouth and waits. A short delay betrays the illusion, but then a recording of "Reveille" blares out from stereo speakers as the flag moves up the pole.That's how the day starts at North Valley Military Institute, a Los Angeles Unified School District charter school that this year transformed from a traditional campus into a military-style boot camp for mainly low-income, Latino children. 25% are classified as special ed.
Each morning, four students — one representing each company: Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta — stand watch over the front entrance of the school. They eye the students, searching for flaws in uniforms, for closely cropped hair on the boys and tightly pinned-back hair on the girls. Colored nail polish is prohibited, but makeup is allowed in moderation. Any infraction constitutes a demerit, and each demerit lands a student 15 minutes of detention, which the school calls a "reboot." -- L.A. TimesAs for Common Core, students are taught military courtesies — the use of "sir" and "ma'am" when addressing their elders, for instance — operate under a rank structure and wear uniforms. Students lead platoons of their peers, do physical training twice a week and follow a demerit system. According to the Times,
The military influence has led to some confusion in the surrounding neighborhood. Some parents believe the school is a boot camp for troubled teens or is run by the military.They're right. The military curriculum is overseen by the California Cadet Corps, the youth program of the California National Guard.