Every Wednesday and Friday, cadets that have violated school rules or obtain sufficient demerits, serve detention from 2:30 to 3:30 after school.

During this time, punished students are often forced to stand at attention and stare at a wall for long periods of time, perform multiple repetitions of various exercises, and threatened with more detentions if they argue or question why they have a detention.

As a military school, the CPS school code of conduct states, “Board designated military academies and other JROTC programs may enforce standards of conduct and intervention or consequences that are consistent with the military nature” (Chicago Public Schools Student Code of Conduct, page 15).

Nonetheless, the same code of conduct clearly states, “Corporal punishment is expressly prohibited” (page 16). But do the exercises that cadets are forced to do during detention constitute  corporal punishment?

According to page 6 of the Chicago Public Schools Policy Manual, “Using corporal punishment that does not result in the physical contact with a student (e.g., humiliating a student, forcing a student to stand or kneel for an inordinate period of time, forcing a student into a physical position that causes pain, or requiring isolated timeouts that violates isolated time out procedures” constitutes as a Group 2 Act of Misconduct and inappropriate behavior.

The Child Rights International Network also describes corporal punishment as, “any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light” (crin.org).

This by definition includes, “forcing children to stay in uncomfortable positions” (crin.org).


Although JROTC academies can execute punishment in accordance with current military standards, as noted on pages 87-88 of the Department of the Army TRADOC Regulation 350-6 which states, “(Corrective Action) Non Punitive actions used as a motivational tool by authorized cadre members to immediately address deficiencies in performance or conduct and to reinforce required standards. By virtue of administering corrective action, there is recognition that the misconduct did not result from intentional or gross failure to comply with standards of military conduct… Requiring Trainee/Soldiers to perform a reasonable number of repetitions of authorized physical exercises in accordance with FM 7-22 page 5-5 as a motivational tool is permitted for corrective action. However, consideration must be given to the exercises, repetitions, and total number of times each day that exercise is used for corrective action to limit the potential for overtraining and injuries”.

In addition, forcing cadets to perform odd punishments outside of Army designated PRT standards could be considered hazing bullying, which is extremely wrong. Page 24 of Army TRADOC Regulation 350-6 directly states that this is not allowed, as does page 30 of Army Regulation 600-20.

CPS JROTC programs can execute some physical punishment according to Army guidelines, yet it would still constitute as corporal punishment to a certain extent. But, Illinois state law has banned the use of corporal punishment since 1993, in Illinois School code 105 ILCS 5/24-24.

By state law, the discipline policy, “shall not include slapping, paddling or prolonged maintenance of students in physically painful positions nor shall it include the intentional infliction of bodily harm” (ilga.gov).

Question being, are the multiple counts of push-ups, time spent walking in the courtyard carrying books, and long periods of time students stand and stare at a wall, permissible?

If the punishment violates the stance of TRADOC Regulation 350-6 (page 87), which says, “At no time is corrective action meant to demean, belittle, or embarrass a Trainee/Soldier”, Phoenix could be in violation of multiple civilian and military rules.