Boarding schools are generally schools where students reside during the school year and then return home on weekends and holidays. However, some students decide on their own terms not to return on weekends and holidays for their own personal reasons. Boarding schools are seen as pre-university schools. It is most common for grade levels nine through twelve to be sent to boarding school to be prepped for College and University style teachings and lifestyle changes.
What they don’t tell you, is the stuff that happens behind the closed doors of these boarding schools. Just like with College, crazy and wild stuff happens on campuses that the administrative end would like to keep out of the papers: Sex, drug, violence, and bullying. If it happens in College, right after teenagers get the first taste of freedom from their parent’s watchful eye, then why wouldn’t it happen when these teens get their first taste of freedom? Just because they are anywhere from one to four years younger, that does not really make a difference anymore these days.
Some of the stuff that happens behind these closed doors of boarding schools will be shocking, while others will be expected. When you put teens together in close quarters, things are bound to get a little chaotic.
15 Hazing Through Violence
Hazing is locked behind closed doors and is deep inside of boarding schools. Hazing comes in different forms, so for right now, we are talking about hazing violence. Hazing is a way of welcoming new students, either to the school, grade or to a sports team. Hazing violence can be as minor as getting paddled on the rear end with a paddle, which can get rather painful, or to something as extreme as getting jumped and beaten by multiple students.
There was even a boarding school in Sweden that got shut down in 2013, for a reported incident of students being burned with irons in a hazing incident. While many think that since hazing has become illegal, that hazing violence instances have gone down, but that is so far from the truth.
14 Physical And Verbal Bullying
Bullying is a major thing that is behind the closed doors of boarding schools, and they sometimes try to act like they have it under control. However, schools everywhere will never be able to entirely control what a student says or does, or what a group of students say or do. Physical and verbal bullying is still common within the walls of boarding schools and will never go away no matter how hard they try.
There was one instance in 2012, where a teen was forced to his knees and his peers made him catch cheese balls with his mouth, and when he missed, he was physically beaten. The sad truth is, stuff like this still happens today. Everyone knows what bullying is, and has either witness it firsthand or has heard about it firsthand.
13 Ragging Newcomers
While ragging is not a common practice in the states, it still happens around the world. Ragging is bullying in a sense, it is the psychological and physical abuse of new students, including boarding school students. It is common in India, Malaysia, and a few other places. It is similar to our practices of hazing, but this is what goes on behind closed doors of boarding schools in other countries.
In one instance, a new Malaysian junior was asked to meet other boarding school seniors in the pantry of his school, when he was attacked severely. He had to be carried back to his dorm because he could not walk. This is a common thing in places like this, and it is a very sad practice.
12 Behind Closed Doors
Sexual abuse is a serious issue that is a dark, and a hidden secret that has been brought to the light more and more often, but still happens behind the closed doors of boarding schools across the globe. It can happen in co-ed, all-girls, and all-boys, boarding schools. There are no segregations when it comes to the seriousness of sexual abuse in private schools.
It was reported in 2016, that at least 67 private schools had over 200 sexual assault victims. This is an outrageous number to even fathom. Sexual abuse has been happening in boarding schools since their doors first opened. With the students being away from home and living under the care of the school administrators, anything is possible. Even with a background check, there are still those that escape the system.
11 Before They're Ready
Sex is, and can be, found everywhere one would look. So this one is not as shocking as one would think, but it is probably still shocking to the parents who take on the financial burden for their child’s education at one of these elite schools. These teens are having sex behind the closed doors of schools. Some even worse, it was found that one female was even given sexual favors to an entire sports team for some undisclosed reason.
Sexual relations happen in co-ed, all girls, and also in all boys boarding schools. When teenagers want something to happen, they will find a way to make it happen. There is no stopping that, and that is a part of life. It should be no surprise though, when it comes to raging hormones and teenage rebellion, even parents trying to lock their kids away in a boarding school won’t stop them.
10 Unnecessary Punishments
Unnecessary punishments can come in many forms ranging in severity, but more so, the punishments these days are meant to embarrass more than anything. Unnecessary punishments may seem rare and probably are compared to a decade ago, but they still happen behind closed doors in boarding schools. There have been some known instances where students have been made to wash the toilets, which doesn’t sound bad but that is not what their parents are paying their high tuition bills for, and I’m sure the students don’t like the toilet scrubbing either.
There are more embarrassing instances where students have been made to suck their thumbs, they are made to be errand runners to the seniors, they are being made to lay under seniors bunks for hours on end, they have been made to eat their lunches off of dirty floors, and other minor things that are deemed as being an unnecessary punishment. While some of the things are not too bad, other things are just plain disturbing.
9 Cyber Bullying
Cyberbullying happens in schools all over, and that includes behind the closed doors of boarding schools all over the nation. Cyberbullying is widespread and in closed, close together areas like boarding schools, it can become daunting for those that are being cyberbullied. Students may feel like they have nowhere to run. The targeted ones may receive hurtful and shameful messages or posts on social media sites. They can receive mean text messages and phone calls, video chats, and anonymous messages left using free downloadable apps.
Cyber bullying is happening in boarding schools whether it is publicized or not. Students talk about it all the time, and it is right there, broadcasted all over everyone’s social media for the world to see, yet nothing gets done about it.
8 Extracurricular Indulgences
Boarding schools try to act like drugs and alcohol don’t get past the front door, but we all know their dirty little secrets and it wouldn’t be a complete list if drugs and alcohol weren’t on it. We all know that behind closed doors, drugs and alcohol get brought into every single boarding school out there, no matter how tight they think their watchdogs are.
Teenagers are very thrifty, and being away from their parents; they are going to want to experience some form of freedom, and what a better place to start than with drugs and alcohol. Teens will almost always find a way to get what they are looking for by any means necessary. There is no form of administration security strong enough to permanently keep a teenager at a boarding school away from drugs and alcohol if that is what they are into.
7 Hazing With Drugs And Alcohol
Just like hazing and violence, hazing and drugs and alcohol happen behind the closed doors of boarding schools. Hazing with drugs and alcohol can be potentially fatal. Hazing is a way to initiate newcomers into the boarding school, grade, or sports team. Hazing with drugs and alcohol is thought to be only a College or University sort of thing, but that is a major misconception. As we see the drinking and drug use ages lower, so does the ages that alcohol and drug related hazing occur.
It can be potentially fatal due to the fact that alcohol poisoning is easier to reach when forced into drinking large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time, which is very common in hazing; actually, it is more common than not. While hazing is now considered to be illegal, especially since boarding schools house minors, it still happens more than we could like to believe.
6 Emotional And Mental Abuse
Emotional and mental abuse, in boarding schools, is a tightly kept secret behind closed doors that tends to reveal itself more once the child is out of the school. It can be evident inside the walls of the boarding school, and the abuse can also be caused by the staff and administration. If sexual assault is evident inside the walls of these schools, then why wouldn’t emotional and mental abuse be found inside them as well?
Emotional and mental abuse is found with name calling, or in anything pertaining to the abuse of a person’s emotional or mental state. In boarding schools, when a staff member says something along the lines of, a parent has sent their child away to boarding school because they no longer care about or love them than that is mental or emotional abuse. A staff member may say something like this to a student in an attempt to try to get them to behave, or sometimes simply because of their authorities status. This is actually a rather common statement from a staff member to a younger student, which can cause deep-rooted psychological trauma.
5 Stealing For The Thrill
Theft can be one of those things that can as be minor as stealing someone else’s pencil, and as major as stealing someone else’s identity. Boarding schools want to act like theft is under control, but you can never control another person’s actions, along with their greedy desires. Theft happens all the time the behind the closed doors of boarding schools all over the nation.
A lot of the time, it’s not the major theft issues that are of concern, because thankfully, those do get taken care of rather fast, but the petty theft issues that are more of a rather nuisance that happens the most often. For some reason, boarding school students, like College students, like to go on scavenger hunts and will go about collecting other random items from students for no other purpose but than to mess with others and to have fun.
4 Abandonment Issues
Being packed up, shipped off, and sent away by one's parents can take a toll on a child, especially the younger they are. Even teenagers that have never been away from home for extended periods of time can have trouble adjusting to life in boarding schools and may have abandonment related issues. The parents that send their kids away see this as a budding life experience. It has been found that abandonment issues are a problem behind the closed doors of boarding school, and have been shown to cause permanent psychological issues in the child years after their boarding school experience.
One of the main things that have been shown to come as a long term psychological effect is something known as Boarding School Syndrome, which has an array of symptoms such as the inability to cry, unable to share or express feelings, and the constant need to seek companionship or approval.
3 Worsening Mental Health Issues
Mental health can be a touchy subject for most, especially for those that do not understand it. If a parent is sending their child to a regular boarding school that does not specialize in mental illness, then this is where things can get tough for the child. Worsening mental health issues are a well-hidden secret behind the closed doors of boarding schools. It has been well documented that being sent to a boarding school can cause psychological issues for those that have studied abroad, but what about those who already suffer from a mental health condition?
Mental illness conditions can worsen while residing at boarding schools because of the change of environment and routine. Being away from those that the child is familiar with can worsen anxiety symptoms while antagonizing other mental health disorders. Also, starting with a new mental health care team, while away, can backtrack some progress that has been made as well.
2 Physical Fights
What student doesn't love watching a good fight every now and then? Unless they happen to be one the students getting their face rearranged, that is. Boarding schools pride themselves on being very pristine, and fighting would be considered as something that would be unacceptable. Fighting is something that happens all the time behind the closed doors of boarding schools. Sometimes, fights can be nothing to worry about, they can consist of minor slaps and hits; something that might happen over a disagreement with a roommate.
Fights can also escalate and leave a person in need of medical assistance. These are the instances that boarding schools often try to hide, but when they turn to this level of physical assault, direct actions are taken and consequences are implemented. Often, the authorities are called and the students involved are then left to face expulsion in addition to whatever the authorities have in store for them.
1 Suicide Attempts
Occasionally, and tragically, students, while residing at boarding schools, will make attempts to take their own life. This is a sad truth that gets swept under the rug behind the closed doors at boarding schools all over. Boarding school students may make a suicide attempt while at these schools for many reasons, and a few reasons have been previously covered on this list such as; bullying, hazing, and mental health issues.
In 2014, it had been reported that boarding schools were less likely to report suicidal behaviors and tendencies in their students than in other types of schools. That is a very scary thing to think about knowing that boarding school educations tend to cost more than typical schools, where the students get sent home at the end of the school day. If a student is living on that school’s campus and is being monitored by that school’s administration, then the parents should be notified immediately of any suicidal behaviors or actions. Even public schools at least give parents that courtesy.
Sources: AOL.com/News, USNews.com, NDTV.com, Quora.com, VanityFair.com, Mumsnet.com, NYPost.com, Talk.CollegeConfidential.com, TheTab.com, Lifestyle.allwomenstalk.com, SandiegounionTribune.com, TheLocal.se, TheStar.com, BostonGlobal.com, Listverse.com, Zikoko.com, ThePsychologist.bps.org.uk, IBBLaw.co.uk, MedScape.com