“Some rules did make sense to me at my last school. Here, teachers talk to us if there are disciplinary issues.” - Iron Academy Student
What does it practically mean to “conduct yourself” at Iron Academy, and what happens when a student falls short?
While most schools focus on rules, Iron Academy focuses on an aspirational Honor Code that encourages, praises, and trains biblical virtues that build young men who honor God, love others, and shepherd well.
Rules-based or legalistic environments often reward passivity or a sense of moral superiority. Iron Academy's Staff and Rod (Psalm 23:4) disciplinary system proactively encourages virtuous behavior while offering instant accountability.
Similar to what we see exemplified in Scripture, a “staff” or “rod” is given to a student who has violated the Iron Academy Honor Code and has acted in a manner that is ungentlemanly. The list of offenses that merit a “staff” or “rod” has been largely generated by, and voted on, by the student leadership teams. The goal of each “staff” or “rod” is to act as a call to each young man to acknowledge and embrace the responsibilities of gentlemanly conduct in and out of the classroom.
If there comes a point where a student is a part of too many “staff” or “rod” offenses, he will have a conference with his Keepers, perhaps other members of student leadership, and possibly the principal. Hopefully, at this point, the young man will see the error of his ways, repent, and return to living out the Honor Code. On the other hand, if this intervention is unsuccessful, the student will be called to a “Round Table.”
A Round Table brings the offending student before all, or at least an appropriate portion, of his peers and teachers. All parties involved have an opportunity to be heard before the teachers and the school leader decide on an appropriate consequence for the behavior in question. All Challenge Coin-holding students and teachers collectively decide on whether the student should be held accountable for his actions and receive the rebuke for his deeds, or perhaps there are circumstances that warrant a reprieve and the student is deemed not accountable. Our hope in all of this is that the student will be reconciled to the Iron family by admitting his folly, vowing to diligently work on changing the ungentlemanly behavior(s), and accepting the judgment rendered by those present at the Round Table.
As it written in Proverbs 27:17, iron will sharpen iron, brother will build brother, and the feeling of “what hurts my brother, hurts me” will permeate Iron Academy.