The SuperDrops Academy for Extraordinarily Gifted Crime Fighters, most commonly abbreviated to SuperDrops Academy or SD Academy, is the world's first and to date only educational facility exclusively dedicated to the training of Meta-Human crimefighters. It was founded in the year 2005 by Gordon Drops as a privately owned subsidiary of SuperDrops Enterprises. It is located in Laputa City, on Laputa Island.
History and Impact Edit
Since the Academy was founded only 15 years ago, it has had a surprisingly big effect on global society and politics. The first group of students was only 14 people strong, but ever since then the number of new students has increased every year. The Academy invites students from all over the globe, which has popularized it in even the most remote of places, indeed one is hard pressed to find someone anywhere but the very most isolated pockets of the planet that has not at the very least heard the name. Both it and Laputa Island are a constant topic of discussion on all levels of society, from the working public to the governmental and commercial elites. The world is, as usual with topics of this magnitude, rather split on whether the Academy is a good or bad thing. Supporters point to the tremendous services academy-trained metas, crime fighters and civilians alike, have provided. Detractors claim, with varying degrees of directness, that Drops is basically building a private army, on his private island, away from international scrutiny, on the backs of naive teenagers.
While the Academy itself has not had much time to accumulate a history, there are some very interesting bits about how it came to be. One, of course, is the construction of the Laputa Mobile Levitation Platform itself. Another very interesting subject is where the building material for the Academy was sourced: SuperDrops Enterprises bought a lot of very expensive land in the Alps, which was quite unremarkable, safe for the decrepit tower ruins that sat on it. Gordon Drops then had five of the six towers deconstructed stone by stone, and had them reassembled on the Laputa, supplemented with modern stabilization where needed and conveniences like plumbing and electricity. Many of the state owned buildings and all the municipal building in Laputa City also have one or more of the stones taken from the ruins incorporated into them. Despite non-stop questioning on the subject Gordon Drops has remained silent as to the reasoning for this costly method of construction, which has spawned a sheer endless number of conspiracy theories.
The Academy has, so far, been an "invite only" institution, with every prospective student handpicked by Gordon Drops, who functions as the Academy's headmaster. Many people have tried to bribe their way into an invite by various means, but with no success as of yet. Similarly all attempts at legal recourse against this policy have failed, thanks to the intricate web of treaties and accords that protect both the Laputa Island Nation and the SD Academy itself.
It has been said that the SD Academy is the harshest educational facility on the planet. While that is not true by a long shot, there is good reason for this exaggeration. The first year of the Academy has a 65% dropout rate, which is a down-trend from the initial 80%. While the declared end-goal of the Academy is to train their students for a career in crime fighting they also provide them with a general education that can rival that of many bachelor university degrees. Karla Langenscheidt, Public Relations Officer of the Academy, has commented on this:
"Our teaching philosophy can be summed with two simple principles: Sound body, sound mind and Knowledge is power. We at the Academy believe that to successfully defy the criminal element one has to possess not only great physical aptitude but also a wealth of information, and most importantly the skill to use both these qualities creatively at a split-seconds notice."
The base time frame for a student from entering the Academy to graduation is 6 years, but few students have so far managed to complete their education there without at least one extra year. Course load is heavier than one would expect at similar institutions, especially in the early years, with a 6 day week and most days featuring four 90 minutes lessons per day.
As with the establishment of the Laputa Island Nation, the founding of the SD Academy was preceded by lengthy international treaty negotiations, which resulted in a number of noteworthy pieces of international legislature. Chief among these is the "Academic Asylum Accord". The Accord, in laymans terms, gives teenagers a chance to attend the Academy even against their legal guardians wishes. If the prospective student can manage to enter an airport building with a signed and stamped invite from the Academy their legal guardian no longer has the right to remove them from the airport against their will, and temporary guardianship falls to the government of the Laputa Island Nation. Not all UN members have signed the Accord, and since it's inception a handful that originally were signatories have dropped out, but usually if a student of a non-signatory nation can reach the embassy of a signatory nation the embassy can count as an airport for the purposes of the Accord and the student can request to be taken to the nearest airport under protection.
Another noteworthy legality of the Academy is that guardians and students have to sign a waiver concerning damages, if the students is to enter some of the more advanced classes. These classes often involve subjects that are both very complex and very dangerous, and while few, there have been fatalities. The number of general violent incidents and both property and battery damages that occur on Academy premises is also demonstrably higher than for other education facilities. This phenomenon has not been thoroughly researched yet, but is popularly ascribed to the fact that pubescent hormones and superpowers make for a volatile combination.