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Homeland Security Heads to High School

Since 9-11, colleges and universities have begun offering degrees in homeland security. Now that trend has perculated down to high schools,reports The Los Angeles Times.

Meade High School [in Fort Meade, Maryland], where Edler teaches, made its own history this year. The long-troubled public high school become one of the first in the nation to offer a four-year course in domestic security. The goal: to help graduates build careers in one of America's few growth industries.

"This course will help me get a top-secret security clearance," said Darryl Bagley, an eager 15-year-old. "That way I can always get a job."

Meade offers its 2,150 students a standard high school curriculum, including electives like advanced calculus and carpentry. But the 90 ninth-graders who chose the new homeland security program this last school year focused on topics torn from the headlines: Islamic jihadism, nuclear arms, cyber-crime, domestic militias and the like.

The trend seems like it's here to stay as other schools in Maryland have or will offer a similar homeland security curriculum and as other school districts in other states, such as California, watch with interest.

Critics, however, worry that homeland security courses could be used to indoctrinate students. Two years ago, the liberal magazine Mother Jones, called a similar program at Joppatowne High School, also in Maryland, a"black ops jungle""dedicated to churning out would-be Jack Bauers."