The Boom Boom Method

At his Classical School for Brilliant Children, Alvin "Boom Boom" Jackson promises to enhance self-esteem and academic performance. Erik Vidor certainly got a lesson he'll never forget.

At the Classical School, business continued as usual. In April, Jackson still welcomed a reporter, cautioning only that questions about "the nasty stuff" would be referred to DeGeurin. "I'm still selling books and giving speeches to pay for that man," he joked.

In his office, Jackson talked excitedly about his expansion plans. Already, the Classical School has an outpost in Dallas, and Jackson is now planning to open others in Albuquerque, Tampa and Las Vegas. Dreamily, he talked of finding a financial backer who'll help him open a "Boom Boom-style" high school.

A small, light-skinned black child ran through the hallway outside Jackson's office.

"Samson!" Jackson bellowed. The child stopped, and stood uncertainly in the doorway.

"What kind of kid did you used to be, before you came to this school?"
"A bad kid."
"What did you do?"
"Fought the principal. And ran out of class."
"Do you do that here?"
"No."
"Ever even thought of doing that here?"
"No."
"What is it about the environment here?"
"Pops."
"Did they give you pops at your old school?"
"No.

"Let's say you ran a school. Let's say that when you get big, you're the future Boom Boom. What would you do at your school?"

"Give 'em pops."
Jackson smiled.

Research assistance by Lauren Kern.

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