In high school, students are constantly being told that they are “growing up fast” and that as “young adults,” they need to prepare for the “real world.” Yet as soon as they act up in class, teachers deem them immature enough for parental intervention.
If a student wants to change a class, the counselors will not comply without a parent signature and must have a parent present. Also, if a student gets their phone taken away, it cannot be re-obtained from the security office without a parental consent.
Despite these examples, the entire RHS staff continues to tell students that they need to be more mature and responsible. As a result of contradictory actions and statements like these, students disregard what in-school authority figures say.
Telling students to grow up and not giving them the opportunities to do so is not the only way that teachers contradict themselves. Teachers also say that they “have faith in all of their students” or “believe in everyone.” But if this is the case, then how come they cannot prove it and give students some independence?
Only certain students should need a parent in these situations. Parental intervention should not be a policy that applies to all students. Those who have not yet proven that they lack the maturity to act like an adult should not need parental supervision on their in-school decisions.
It is not only RHS’ staff who holds students back from taking responsibility for themselves ; overly involved parents can have the same effect. Parents and teachers need to realize that students cannot be self-sufficient after high school without some practice.
Without good preparation, it is very easy for someone who goes from being micromanaged to having trouble functioning in everyday life. Too much freedom at once for a person who is not used to it may lead them to experiment with drug, alcohol or other risky behavior.
Students are more likely to take dangerous and irresponsible risks if both their in-and-out-of-school disciplinarians show them that they expect students are better than that. The way to show this is by allowing them some wiggle room to prove that they really are above making bad decisions.
Teaching students to believe in their ability to take responsibility for themselves is an important thing to learn in high school. Unlike their everyday classes, it will stick with them and can be applied to any situation that they face in the “real world.”
The over-bearing control that both parents and teachers try to subject students to can sometimes have an opposite effect on them: rather than keeping students in line, it causes them to resent the little freedom that they have.