Motives of Granville Leadership Class Questioned
Posted August 29, 2007 4:13 p.m. EDT
Updated August 29, 2007 5:52 p.m. EDT
Creedmoor, N.C. — Some parents are balking at a study-skills course being taught to high school freshmen in Granville County, saying it borders on military recruitment.
The course is required for all ninth-graders in the county, and school administrators said it is needed to teach students the study and communications skills they will need throughout high school and college.
"The curriculum was approved by the school board as the 9th grade freshman enrichment curriculum," South Granville High School Principal Pauline Brady said.
The course was piloted last year at South Granville High, and only one ninth-grader had to be held back, Brady said. The course was expanded to the county's other two high schools this fall.
But parent Steve Strazis said he wants to pull his daughter from the course because it appears too military-oriented. The class is taught by an ROTC instructor, and initial requirements called for students to drill with ROTC classes and to be given the option of wearing uniforms at school.
"I think it's disingenuous of the school to insist that this not recruiting going on," Strazis said, noting the curriculum emphasizes "leadership enrichment" for students.
"(The course outline) doesn't say what methods will be used, but it doesn't say anything about military," he said.
During the first day of class, he said, the instructor discussed college expenses and how the military could help defray the cost. But Brady said the instructor was just mentioning scholarship opportunities.
"One of them happens to be a military scholarship, so the information is shared with students so they have options," she said. "I have (other) teachers who say, 'I went to school on an athletic scholarship.'"
Still, Strazis said the class appears to go too far.
"I still have some questions about whether or not this may be used as a recruiting tool," he said.