IBSC Supports Boys and Boys’ Schools
In January, 2019, the International Boys' Schools Coalition (IBSC) published a statement in support of boys and boys’ schools:
Recent publicized events globally have raised questions about the effectiveness of boys’ schools teaching moral conduct, especially respect for women. All members of the International Boys’ Schools Coalition (IBSC) have no tolerance in any schools for disrespect, unkindness, or violence. We believe a good school succeeds primarily because of its school culture, regardless of whether it is single sex or coeducational, but we reaffirm our belief that boys’ schools succeed for many boys. That success stems from many reasons, but foremost from teaching young men moral values and principles that strengthen our society and model kindness, tolerance, empathy, and especially respect for women.
In our schools we strive to instill the importance of an inner life that helps boys shed societal stereotypes. We provide adult role models, both men and women, who encourage boys to discover the good within themselves and recognize its desire to blossom into empathy for others and acts of service. Being schooled with other boys often helps an individual discover that inner life. He might be freer to question, reflect, adjust, and grow—to ask uncomfortable questions and share ideas without fearing ready judgment. Boys can explore issues of gender and sexuality and the many versions of manhood in an authentic, testing way that might not work for them in a different environment.
Crucial to this education is the role of male peers in an all-boys environment. Boys can share emotions and vulnerability and lean on each other in profoundly moving ways. They may develop and mature at their own pace and in some cases act with high energy to leverage opinions for the good en masse. All the while this bonding occurs with the example of positive adult role models who value each boy as an individual but also point out and celebrate what boys can do when they act together.
We strive to create communities where compassion, gentleness, and kindness are foremost in hearts, minds, and missions. We know and care for each young man. We teach a thoughtful, sensitive, and dignified notion of manhood. Stereotypes against boys in groups and boys’ schools in general exist. Sometimes they are publicized as truth. Boys and boys’ schools must not be defensive. Let us nurture each boy who is trying to figure out how to live in this world. Let us as schools seek to make our single-sex culture work for the good of the men these boys will become and the women they will count as acquaintances, colleagues, friends, partners in life, and their own daughters.
Why a Boys' School?
A stimulating, risk-free learning environment
Allowing full participation in activities (especially arts)
Non-threatening environment for self-expression
Wider range of individual expression
Safe atmosphere in which to explore sensitive gender and sex-related issues
An atmosphere conducive to intellectual risk-taking.
Male development expertise
Faculties experienced in teaching and coaching boys
Adults schooled in male development
Instruction tailored to style and tempo of boys' learning
Heightened focus on academic tasks, on learning
Atmosphere of frank, direct communication
Camaraderie and friendships
Positive male role modeling
Distinctive esprit de corps
Absence of posturing, gender stereotyping.
Special depth of friendships for life
Heightened tendency to support school as alumni
Adapted from the International Boys' Schools Coalition: www.theibsc.org/