Bossier students find pride in second chances

New Bossier program helps students find pride in second chances

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - For the past year, Bossier School District has been challenging dozens of students, physically and mentally, with hopes of bolstering confidence, restoring self-esteem and instilling discipline.

The method? Military drill.

Pride Academy has helped dozens of students, who’ve been temporarily moved from their home schools to the Butler Educational Complex, develop a sense of direction and purpose through military training.

Broderick Cox, a Pride Academy instructor and former National Guardsman, leads “cadets” in physical training.

“They learn through character education that they have better choices. Anyway that you can impact a kid’s life in a positive way and to get them on the right path is an intrinsic reward.”

Pride stands for:

  • Promoting structure through accountability
  • Rehabilitate behavior
  • Initiate self-respect
  • Develop the desire to make positive choices
  • Endurance to promote self-growth

According to Bossier School District, 75 percent of students who are eligible to return to their home schools early participated in the program.

Additionally, of the program’s 68 participants over the course of the year, 53 have returned to their normal classrooms early.

“Your past doesn’t determine your future. You’ve made a mistake and we all make mistakes," said Lorenza Baker, Butler Educational Complex’s principal and a Pride Academy instructor. “We all want to have some sense of accomplishment. I think that’s what this program does.”

Pride Academy is split into three parts; physical training, military drill and character development.

“It’s been helpful. It’s helped me get my act straight," said Garrette Larsen, a student who has tested himself in Pride Academy. “It’s good to teach the kids that you can do better and go back always have a second chance.”

Butler Educational Complex officials say the school is considering expanding the program next year.

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