Military Academies Aren’t What They Used to Be

When Zainab Salami’s parents sent her from a public school in Texas to the Randolph-Macon Academy, a 124-year-old military school in western Virginia, her only frame of reference was a Disney Channel movie.

“I thought it would be like Cadet Kelly,” she said. In the 2002 film, the main character, a free-spirited artist type played by Hilary Duff, enrolls at the fictional George Washington Military Academy and doesn’t fit in with the tough, disciplined culture.

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