By Erin Jones

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Putting students through a military-inspired program is a unique thing one Dallas ISD school is doing to improve behavior and grades.

In Teno Myles’ class, there are no desks or chairs. The Army veteran is teaching all Paul L. Dunbar Learning Center kindergarten through 5th graders the valuable skill set he received in the military in an interactive way.

READ MORE: As Pandemic Restrictions Ease, Child Abuse Reports Rise In North Texas

“They learn to stand at attention,” Myles said. “They learn to stand stand at ease. They learn right face. They learn left face. Respect for structure. Respect for authority. Discipline.”

He also introduces them to different career paths.

Myles said all of these things shaped him into the productive, successful person he is today and believes students can benefit. That’s why he created the SLAC program, which stands for service, leadership, academics and courage.

As part of this program every student is given a badge which gives them a rank based on their academic and behavioral performance.

READ MORE: Preschool Owners Battling City Of Plano Over Eminent Domain For 4 Years

“The students are self-motivated, self-driven to get their ranks up because they know that once they get their ranks up they’re giving other incentives,” he said.

Fifth grader Cadence Collins has received the highest rank achievable and is now able to lead lines, create rules and mentor younger students.

“I help them learn,” she said. “The little kids do everything that we do so we have to be the bigger person and stand up for others.”

Prior to Myles starting this program in 2017, the school was averaging more than 100 referrals and suspensions a year, now new data shows that number has dropped to less than 25.

MORE NEWS: Fewer North Texans Opening Homes To New Pets With Schools And Businesses Back Open

“It allows them to embrace their dreams,” he said.

Erin Jones