Don't Do This...

March 7, 2008
By Stefan Nguyen, Auburn, NY

“Don’t do this, don’t do that. Do this or else you are going to have to do that.” These are just some of the common phrases we students hear from administrators these days. The school system we go through is getting more uptight and that’s alright to a certain extent, but now it is almost getting to the point where it is so ridiculous that we just drown out their voices.

Administrators don’t trust the kids now, and to be totally honest, I don’t blame them. When given freedom or privileges, there are always a certain few that screw it up for us kids. When that is the case, why does the whole group have to be punished? That’s where many of us disagree. Personally, I think those that commit the wrongful acts should be punished instead of the current kids and future ones just because a few cant control themselves. For example, at our school we didn’t have pep rallies for the longest time because they got out of hand and people were consequently hurt in the past. A magical run to a state championship by the football team was needed to change this and that is totally unnecessary. What is the logic in punishing the new incoming students yearly and the older students that committed no wrongdoing? The ones that should be punished are those that caused the trouble in the first place. Let the pep rallies continue, but don’t let the guilty parties attend. It’s the only way that is fair in punishing those that screwed up without compromising the events for those that did absolutely nothing wrong. This all ties into the fact that teachers and administrators don’t trust kids just because of the kids in past years.

Another thing that isn’t very popular at our school is the new class that is required to be able to get a parking permit. Just the idea that we need to obtain a permit to park at the school is perplexing to me but that is something we all got over quickly. It’s not the fact that we have to take the class as much as the fact that it’s a four hour course. I’m sure not that many people would mind if it was only an hour long. Another big deal about it is that in order to drive to school you have to have your license obviously. In order to get a license, you must take a five-hour course and a road test. If we are licensed by the state of New York to drive on the roads, then why should we be forced to take a pointless four hour long class to park? It is completely crazy and the tickets and violation stickers will do nothing to change kids’ minds. Where is the logic behind making the kids take a four hour class to park between two yellow lines because that has to be one of the major sticking points in the whole situation. It’s not like there have been accidents in the parking lot. If that were the case then I would definitely reconsider my stance on the whole case. I might even go as far as saying I would embrace the opportunity to gain some parking knowledge.

Maybe if enough kids complain, things will get changed but the chances of that are few and far between. Face it, we are just kids with very little say in how our school is run. It is good to know that there are a few teachers that understand our views and are still there to fight for us. It’s just disappointing that the majority of teachers don’t trust kids due to past actions but what can we really do about it?

Another big thing that has been a problem over the past two years, especially, is the problem with cell phones. People that get caught using their phones get them taken away and that is tolerable. This is a learning environment so using phones is inappropriate and it’s a distraction to many. If one were to have their phone taken away then they can only get it back when their parents come back at the end of the day to retrieve it. Although I think the first offense should be punished by just waiting until the end of the day instead of waiting for the parents, I can deal with the current format. That’s most likely because I don’t usually get caught with my phone. The punishment that I completely disagree with though, is that if an individual were to refuse to give their phone up after being caught, they get a suspension that is nearly as harsh as being suspended for getting into a fight. Why the kid won’t give up the phone in the first place is beyond me because you can get it back at the end of the school day. Getting back to the punishment though, the kid was insubordinate so their punishment should be the same as refusing to follow a teacher’s directions. The kid didn’t get in a fight so why should he or she be treated as though they were.

I understand that the school is a learning environment that prepares us for life after the education system but it has to be a little bit fun too because we are still kids like it or not. When school has good activities and is enjoyable then we look forward to coming here every day to see our friends and to learn. There is nothing fun about going to a place that can be compared to a maximum-security prison. After 8th grade, I was excited for going to the high school, not Attica.

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