By Emily Stevens
You know what bothers me the most? How school systems will point out problems but not do anything about them. Or maybe when they do something that doesn’t help the situation at all and they call it good. Not only do they not help situations. But they also ignore half the problems in schools and pretend they know nothing about it.
Let’s start off with bullying. Huge problem, right? Why aren’t more things done about it? Schools say that their students need to come forward about it, but why can’t they do anything about it when it’s happening right in front of them? Why do the students have to come forward? We should be trying to make school a safer place, so students aren’t scared to go. Especially students in high school. These students are 14-18 and they’re already giving up because of how going to school makes them feel. Instead of blaming the students, ask why. Maybe even help. Offer actual options that will help. Maybe offer them a safe space to talk. When students come forward about it, show actual discipline towards the bullies. These days all bullies get is a little talk and that’s it. There needs to be more done. Students should feel safe in a space they have to be in for around seven hours a day.
And why’re we blaming students so much? I mean, I get it, some students are difficult but instead of giving up right away, try to help. It’s not that hard. The decisions that students make most likely have reasoning behind them. If a student is sleeping in class, ask why. Don’t discipline them when you don’t know why they are doing it. Ask why and find a solution. And let’s talk about students vaping in the bathrooms. I know that’s a sore subject at my school. Do schools know why they might be doing this? No, they discipline them. Which, don’t get me wrong, it’s a situation that needs discipline. But why are schools not trying to figure out why these students are doing these things and making these decisions? Schools should be providing solutions to problems that are mostly caused and created by them.
Not to mention the discrimination that still happens in schools. It is 2022 and students are still facing bullying and hardships for their sexualities, skin colors, and disabilities. That’s another thing schools do barely anything about. In some schools, teachers are even part of these issues. We are moving backwards in time, and this has become a daily struggle for these people. I can’t even tell you how many situations I’ve seen where students make fun of and bully other students because they are not the same color, they are part of the LGBTQ+ community, or because they are disabled. I’ve seen and heard about multiple situations at different schools where students have come forward about these problems and nothing was done. This is ridiculous. But this is also yet another example of why some students do not feel safe at school.
Students act like they don’t want help because it hasn’t been offered correctly. The “help” they got didn’t help anything. People say that this generation’s students are our future, but they don’t act like it. They criticize us for the issues they created. Students are not going to be respectful if they are not respected first. We are not smaller because we are still learning. Teach us things that matter and that we will use. Teach us things that will help. You say we are the future, so treat us like it.
Emily Stevens is a student at Grand Meadow High School. She is one of 14 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its 23rd year.