The school does stamp it out VERY quickly, but this doesn't prepare students for life, where you won't the looming shadow of expulsion to hold their hand and protect them. In the real world, you can't just tell an authority that someone is being mean to you and expect them to drop the hammer (unless they actually say something legitimately hateful and immoral)
They are so caught up in their own self-serenading regarding the school and what it stands for that they only trust their way of doing things and don't bother to examine other ways that could make the school a much better place.
The school tries so hard to push its idea of character, but their idea of character isn't the law of the land (I personally think it's deeply flawed but I will only make objective statements regarding the school). The students aren't nearly as exceptional or mind-blowing as the school might suggest, even for a private school, and the faculty generally aren't much different.
The school is a mixed bag. It has an elite technical education program that is among the most diverse in the nation, and the food is excellent for school food. However, the rest isn't so rosy. Academically, the school fosters a mindset of "doublethink" (from George Orwell's 1984), where academics are stressed and are viewed as extremely important in order to succeed, yet the courses usually are subpar, and the majority of students go to colleges with bad academics. Athletically, the school think that they are great athletically (and the certainly put their time and cash into it), but really the athletic program is so-so. However, if you are a day student from the surrounding area it's the best option and isn't too bad. However, from what I saw, dorm students do NOT have it good at the Academy. Discipline is harsh and draconian to the point of being arbitrary, and the students are forced into afternoon activities (or a sport) that last(s) from the end of the school day to dinner. Considering the above average, but not extreme load of homework students receive, this tires students, all in the name of making "well-balanced students". That idea doesn't work out. The school forces their ideas onto students and expects them to either adapt to them of face consequences, despite the fact that people have different ideologies, specifically ideas of living. The school is frankly delusional with their level of self-pride, which approaches arrogance and then some. The school claims to be outstanding in everything, from its academics to its athletics to its student body to its mission. The school isn't terrible, but it is decisively average across the board and refuses to admit it and improve itself because of the pure haughtiness the school possesses. Even from the outside looking in, these things were obvious upon closer examination. Overall, I would say that IF YOU LIVE IN THE SURROUNDING AREA AND ARE TRULY STUCK TO CHOOSE FROM THE SCHOOLS NEARBY, the Academy is the best choice and won't be too problematic. However, IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO BE A DORM STUDENT, don't. If you are able to shell out enough cash to go to boarding school, DO NOT GO TO THE ACADEMY. Relative to other boarding schools the Academy is subpar and fails to set up its students for success in all areas of life. Exhaust literally every other option before deciding to send your child to the Academy.
Good: 1. Has many unique opportunities ie. meeting international students, starting and joining clubs, international trips. 2. Somewhat large campus (campus map available) Bad: 1. Terrible surrounding town. Only things to do are eating at restaurants, go to movies, go bowling, seriously limited shopping, or maybe find interesting event at local art center (Catamount Arts) 2: Dorm students have very little freedom and if caught breaking rules will have little to no freedom.
St. Johnsbury Academy is one of the finest schools in this country. Students learn what it is like to dress for success and interact with international cultures. An old world look towards the highest education possible for all students no "dumming down" the curriculum where scores are more important than individual success. I am a proud alumnus and am proud that my children are and now my grandchildren will be graduating from such a fine school!
Our son attended the Academy for all four years, went on 1 international trip, took 5 AP courses, played different sports all four years (Varsity Letter), and went on to an Ivy League school on a 4 year scholarship. He has since graduated from that school and moved on to even better things. You can draw your own conclusions. Ask yourself, what is more important; what you learn and where you go, or what you wear and who you know?