I have always felt as though schools around the world as well as adults in general greatly discriminate against students and kids, and even worse I don’t think a lot of people realize that it happens or that there might be a slight possibility that it is wrong that it does. I think this is because ageism has been going on for so long that it is perceived as the norm. I find this disgusting.
I do accept that this happens based on the assumption that adults have lived longer and therefore have experienced more of life and are generally more knowledgeable. I do agree that this is the case for some adults, however I do not accept the generalization that ALL adults are wiser, smarter, and better. I have met countless 45 year olds who are less intelligent and way more immature than many of my peers. I don’t think that being older than someone is a valid reason for exerting power over them, and yet this is what has been happening for the past thousands of years and what is happening repulsively in schools. We are not allowed to wear what we want, to choose how we are taught or by who we are taught or what we are taught, to go to the bathroom when we need to, or even to SPEAK without asking permission. And also, when we don’t follow the rules and are reprimanded and choose to reply, we are further reprimanded for “talking back” and being “disrespectful”. Has anyone ever really sat and thought about what that even means? I mean, why is it disrespectful or rude to “talk back”? It literally never made sense to me and it never will…
When I wrote the article about the dress code a few weeks ago and sent it to the school administrators, they sent back and wrote to me that before anything, this dress code will stand. Every time I try and express my opinion or make this dress code a topic of discussion, I am (sometimes harshly) told to stop speaking or scolded. I do not appreciate this. I THINK I have the right to express my opinion, but obviously even that right has been taken away from me. I feel as if I am being repressed from speaking about the negatives of this dress code, but I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that the consequences of this dress code will happen whether or not I talk about them. The only thing is, we have the power to prevent them from happening.
The point of all that I’m saying is; I literally do not have a voice or choice in the place that is supposed to be educating ME. School is supposed to be about STUDENTS — educating them, specifically. But since school is supposed to be about me getting an education, shouldn’t I have a say in what I am educated or how or by who? Is it fair that I literally am not allowed to speak unless I ask permission? Is that not symbolic for what we are all — adults AND children — taught that the “normal” way of living life is?
Quietly go to school, then college, then get a steady job and be quiet and don’t rebel against your government, make money for your family AND your government quietly, quietly tiptoe around life and then quietly die on your deathbed without ever having caused any trouble or change towards the status quo so that people can continue exerting power and discriminating each other and placing unfair laws towards womyn or colored people or children or homosexuals and so on. That’s what we’ve been taught is the “normal” way to go for countless years, isn’t it? That’s the only way we are told that life should be lived, because that’s the way that benefits the people with the most power. And you can either by a bystander, or a power-sucker. OR you can decide to be neither and choose to do something. Because obviously, the way we’ve been living life for the past thousand years has not really benefited anyone except for white men, and then not even, because they’ve died in the bloody wars that other old white men have started. We’re in the long-running process of destroying the planet that we live in, more than half of the world is viewed as inferior and actually is inferior legally, the wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population, the list goes on and on… and ON.
“Just follow the dress code and don’t make too much trouble. Make this easy for us, and we’ll make it easy for you.” These were the words of the principal during the back-to-school assembly as well as the words of several other staff members at my school about the dress code. That is a direct example of how we are told to live life quietly. Just follow the laws, you don’t want to get into trouble with the government or go to jail. It’s easier. Even if it’s something you’re completely against, this is the safer course of action: SILENCE.
Last year, my history teacher said something to me that has stuck with me ever since: “It is always the youth dragging adults into reformation, revolution, change.” This is scarily true and quite apparently what is happening right now… regrettably. And I’m not just talking about my school, but about how I feel like I have to force myself through the old-fashioned and oppressive ideals of adults to formulate change in the world. Adults who, half of the time, do not even listen to me because of their belief that I am a silly, rash, reckless teenager who is speaking and acting without thinking — something that I am 110% sure every grown up who is reading this right now is thinking. Too bad. It’s your loss. You COULD be a part of a wonderful fight for CHANGE… but you CHOOSE to fight against it based on ideas that were taught to you in the 50s, when black people still had their own water fountains in the US and womyn did not have the right to vote (or breathe… lol) in a lot of countries.
This is what has happened all through history. Sucks that it’s repeating itself.
At school and in life in general (because I am patronized by all kinds of adults) I feel as if I am in a cage. I feel trapped, isolated, attacked, and inspected.
Now, even our internet access is tracked and the school can see everything we are doing if they felt like it.
Why is it fine to invade our privacy and steal our freedom? Just because we are younger?
And why — WHY — is everyone okay with this????