During school hours, the students all throughout the country are tasked with their usual run-of-the-mill scholar activities and are encouraged to let all things non-educational set to the side for later enjoyment. Though this idyllic system seems to be the goal for my high school, it’s been proven to work better in theory than in execution.
LEAVE MY IDLE HAND ALONE
One of the many infamous complaints is one almost every student has experienced: the hand-raising problem. When students don’t raise their hands, they’re either too scared to speak, or they don’t know the answer, and when teachers call on them anyway, it’s embarrassing and creates a hostile learning environment for the class.
“Now obviously my hand isn’t up for a reason,” said Marlee, a senior in North Springs High School.
Teachers’ reasoning for doing this usually revolves around the students’ short attention spans, but if so, it’s the teaching tactics that should change to better captivate the audience, such as more interactive activities like Kahoots, Quizziz or popcorn reading. These alternatives would also assist communication between peers and form useful connections for future projects.
WE HAVE LIVING, BREATHING, AND FUNCTIONING BODIES
It seems as if most of the time, schools almost forget that students themselves are human beings. This is evidently seen in the bathroom rules. Bathroom rules usually involve bathroom passes (which means no student can go if another student is already out), or bathroom sign-out sheets (which indicates a time-frame). Not only do these rules discriminate against students’ menstrual cycles by making a bodily function time-sensitive, but it causes an uneasy wave of malaise among students trying to learn or discuss.
These rules may have originated to keep slackers from roaming the halls with their friends instead of being in class; however, a simple solution would be to station staff in vending machine areas, or use a sign-out sheet to keep track of students. Instead, the school system deprives people from their basic human necessities.
“There are girls who could get their period at any time, and they might need to seriously go to the bathroom and shouldn’t be held back because of some lame school rule,” says Natalie Astrogano, a sophomore in North Springs.
OUR TEENAGE BODIES AREN’T A SEXUAL STATEMENT
Dress codes in schools are known for their unapologetic sexism and double standards put on students of different shapes, ethnicities, and genders. So much so, that The Oracle Newspaper of North Springs Charter High School has published several pieces on the issue, bringing up points such as targeting the female sex, and the perverted sexualization of teenage bodies in what’s supposed to be a safe environment.
“The administration attempted to explain the code so it could be heard and accepted, but many felt the rules didn’t fit the crime,” wrote The Oracle reporter Jessica Reyes in her article addressing the controversy.
Furthermore, the educational system blatantly ignores the needs of its students aside from academics. Not only are these rules repressive to students’ free rein of their own bodies, but they present themselves as a logical and reasonable play, which is the very antithesis of their enforcements. There is a fine line between discipline and oppression, and with the bathroom rules, the dress code, and forced participation in class, schools are standing proudly with one foot on each end.
Emily Papleux, a student in North Springs Charter High School, explores creativity through book reviews and her passion for writing.