Class Warfare

Military programs are on the march in inner-city public schools. Are they rescuing at-risk kids or pushing them into becoming soldiers?

Who's going to argue with this outcome? Back in 1992 Shunta Belle was on the fast track to nowhere, "hanging around thugs and drug dealers and trying to prove myself to them." Then, as a freshman at Provine High School in Jackson, Miss., she signed up for the spit-and-shine, no-nonsense world of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps. For the first year, Belle held on to a few of her underachieving civilian comrades. But over the next three years, she picked up new friends, a better attitude and a fresh set of goals to match. "I got serious about things," she...

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