At a time when disrespect earns more regard than respect, a Detroit principal is bucking the trend by creating a club that teaches boys to be gentlemen, Rochelle Riley writes in her Detroit Free Press column. So far the effort is earning high marks from members and parents.


As principal of Brenda Scott Academy, Ronnie Sims supervises teachers, ensures resources and oversees students.

But he also teaches 80 boys how to be gentlemen.

Sims said he believes the young men need to excel at the other three R's — the respect, responsibility and reasoning he teaches in an after-school program called the Gentlemen's Club.


Twice a week, the boys gather in the gymnasium to learn how to properly shake hands, maintain eye contact and dress neatly. The older boys wear jackets; all the boys wear ties — and learn how to tie them.

The boys also learn the value of focus — in the classroom and in other situations.

Sims said his entire goal is to make the boys see themselves differently than they otherwise might and understand how to stand up and take responsibility for their decisions.

Read Rochelle Riley's entire column at the Detroit Free Press.

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