Sentenced to Sinatra
You've heard of "The Breakfast Club.'' Now meet "The Frank Sinatra Detention Club.''
That's the name an enterprising high school history teacher in Riverside, Ill., has given to his method of disciplining students.
Bruce Janu, a 24-year-old aficionado of "big band'' jazz who teaches at Riverside Brookfield High School, requires his students who are tardy or who act up in class to spend a half-hour after school listening to his favorite Frank Sinatra tunes.
"He's a great singer,'' says Mr. Janu, who hopes that a bit of culture will rub off on his students. "I wanted to create something they would remember.''
During the session, students are forbidden to do anything but listen to 30 minutes of such Sinatra classics as "My Way,'' "That's Life,'' and "I've Got the World on a String.''
Not that students seem to appreciate the music, concedes Mr. Janu, who notices students rolling their eyes and grimacing as the songs start up.
He is also not sure his method is leading his charges to better behavior, since he has had numerous repeat offenders.
They could, of course, be closet Sinatra fans eager for another session.
Mr. Janu's novel tactics are quickly turning him into, if not a legend, a bit of a star himself. He's received phone calls from across the United States and from Europe, and has been invited to appear on "Good Morning America'' and "A Current Affair,'' says a school official who has been screening his calls.
Mr. Janu says he never sought or expected this kind of media attention, but admits that he's having fun with it.
And if he tires of Sinatra, Mr. Janu says, he may well add such other vocal greats as Tony Bennett and Mel Torme to the playlist.
Call it "Frank Sinatra and Friends.''-J.C.
Vol. 12, Issue 05