October 21, 2009 (GBN News): The knighting of four NY City school principals yesterday by the French ambassador to the US may have more to it than meets the eye. Purportedly a recognition of the dual French-English language programs at the principals’ schools, the titles are actually being conferred to reward the principals for their role in recruiting students for the French Foreign Legion, sources told GBN News.
The dual language programs were reportedly designed to give students the communication skills needed to function in the Foreign Legion environment, and would facilitate the ability of the Legion to recruit them once they reach the required age. Legion service will be considered “seat time” for credit recovery purposes, and will enable any student who joins to automatically graduate.
J. Fredrick Runson, Professor of Military Linguistics at Manhattan University, is not surprised that the Foreign Legion is behind the awards. “The Order of Academic Palms”, Dr. Runson told GBN News, “was founded by Napoleon, so it already has a military tradition to it. And I’m sure it’s no coincidence that one of the principals had worked in military intelligence. But it’s a ‘win-win’ for both the DOE and the Legion. The Legion gets fresh young recruits, while the DOE can report a higher graduation rate.”
At the same ceremony, the ambassador also conferred the Order of Academic Palms on comedian Jerry Lewis, who is greatly revered in France for his wacky, madcap characters. “It is a tribute to the enduring legacy of Monsieur Lewis,” the Ambassador stated, “that the characters he portrayed could so inspire the school reforms of Monsieur Joel Klein and your Mayor, Monsieur Bloomberg.”