Boarding Schools - Military Schools Discipline
There are signs that the military ethos can accomplish things not easily achieved otherwise. Military curricula are even taking hold in some public schools. In Detroit, the Charles Rogers Academy, named for a black army general, offers much the same program as a military prep school. Students of each year have different ranks, discipline is tight, and standards are high. About half the seniors attend college--an extremely impressive rate for an inner-city school.
By shifting their focus from training future soldiers to preparing civic leaders, military boarding schools have made a comeback -- although their ranks have thinned since WWII. Of course, military boarding schools can seem more like another planet to the average teen. At Massanutten, a military boarding school, reveille is at 6 o'clock every weekday morning. Cadets are required to attend formation 45 minutes later dressed in full uniform, complete with polished boots.
There, members of Alpha Company -- that's all the girls -- are scrutinized for signs of excessive grooming. Sparkle nail polish and heavy makeup are banned. Hair must be tied neatly into military buns or cut above the collar.
Cadets are called to formation before every meal and almost every new activity in their meticulously scheduled day. Simple pleasures -- watching videos and going into town on Friday nights -- must be earned. Academic achievement and good behavior within the Massanutten corps are rewarded with rank, and with rank comes privileges.
Because a cadet's success relies on teamwork, peer pressure at military boarding schools is considered a positive influence. Cadets police each other by reporting, or "sticking," rule breakers. The lowliest private can stick the top cadet.
Administrators dole out hours of detail, or manual labor, based on the seriousness of the crime. A cadet's first unexcused class absence earns four detail hours; a Walkman or stereo will be confiscated the second time he or she is caught listening during evening study hall; a third transgression for littering warrants 12 hours of work.
Massanutten, like many other military boarding schools, does not tolerate drug use, fighting, general misbehaving or sexual activity. A definition of the latter violation is included in the lengthy regulation book to avoid any misunderstandings: "Cadets will not have sexual relations on campus or on any school-sponsored trip or activity, including while on town pass. Sexual acts include any form of intercourse, oral or digital activity."
Military schools are very good at helping students that are already behaving appropriately in their academics, leadership, discipline and teamwork.
However, military schools are not properly designed to help those troubled teens that are defiant, diagnosed or struggle with ADHD, Depression, or other disorders. There are more specifically designed alternatives (specialty boarding schools) that encompass many of the same philosophies of teamwork, discipline, academics, etc. Specialty boarding schools are designed to deal much more effectively with this type of troubled teens.