My opinion piece on the attitude of online adults to teens:
I have read many stories about teens and high-school students taking a stand against sexism, homophobia, and racism in their schools, and even standing up to teachers who use their positions to perpetuate these types of hate filled messages.
I applaud these kids! I really do! But, what confuses me is the amount of adults, online, who say kids should know their place, and behave, mind their teachers, even when faced with hate, liars, and bigotry, from the exact adults who are supposed to be teaching the new generation of adults.
I am constantly baffled by the hypocrite stance these adults have concerning the teens they are bashing. I totally admit not every student is in the right, or maybe could have handled things a little differentially, but, that is where mentors and adults come in to show them how to fight and win battles correctly. They should be mentored for what they are doing, not, insulted for their passions. I also do not think every teacher is innocent, in fact, many are not.
Let’s revisit some of the leading news articles, just over the last year. Teachers have been caught having sex with their students. Teachers have been caught with child pornography on their computers. Teachers have been caught not only using illegal drugs, but also selling illegal drugs to their students. Teachers have been caught sexually harassing not only other teachers, but, also students, in situations where the student has no way to save themselves. There are teachers who not only condone bullying, but, encourage it. Science research has been proven time and again that teachers give better grades to those who have familiar names, and to those who are “teacher’s pets”. Teachers have been proven to lie, cheat, steal, and accept bribes to help students do better in school, and to make it look like the teachers themselves are better teachers, only to earn the bonuses they would have lost if their real teaching abilities had been made public. These are only the teachers who have been caught and arrested or fired. Most teachers who have been reported for illegal or immoral activities are just counseled and moved to another school, to start their activities all over again. So, please, stop the fake rhetoric, that teachers are infallible, perfect people, who should be worshiped, and students are the only problem. They are not.
In no way am I saying that every teacher is like this. In fact, I personally know some outstanding teachers, who don’t receive income anywhere near what they are worth, and they should be put up on pedestals and worshipped for the hell some students put them through. The sad part is, those teachers are becoming the minority, instead of the majority. Do we need better teachers? You net we do. But, until the US Government finds a way to get and retain better teachers, we need strong students to be able to stand up for what is right and good, and bring the issues in their schools to light. Whether they use Facebook, Twitter, or You Tube, these student journalist need the help of the public, not the shame of spineless adults. These students are demanding better teachers, better schools, better education, and better policies that benefit everyone. We should support them, not demise them, because they are teens.
On one side of the coin, most adults want their kids to be mini adults, and they expect the teen students to tackle 8 hours of school a day, 4 hours of homework most nights, extracurricular activities, and they are also expected to maintain a part time job on the weekends. All of this while maintaining a A/B average in school, facing sexual harassment at school, constant threats of violence at school, hormonal changes, heart break, pregnancy fears, fears their parents will divorce or that another student will commit suicide or over dose, pressure to have sex for the first time, all the teacher crap which was mentioned above, and pressure to find a college and not only change schools, but, also move away from friends, family members, and all they have ever known. Let’s not forget, the teens, who turned 14 this year, have never known a life without war, and the teens who are graduating high school this year, have always been in school during a war. All they know is death and war. They face so much more pain and stress, on a daily basis, there is no way they could ever share it all, with anyone. Their own parents will not even know the battles and burdens their teens face everyday.
These “perfect” adults seem to forget what is was to be a teenager, or they honestly have never had to face the issues the students must face in a modern high school. We should praise the students who point out issues in their schools, instead of insulting them and patronizing them.
These kids are pressured each and every day to grow up and act like an adult, but, the moment they find their voice, the moment they find their passion, the moment they stand up for what is right, even when it is against another adult, they are told to sit down and shut up and act their age.
I hope each and every teen out there continues to stand up for what is good and right in this world, and never, ever, shut up about an injustice in your school.
I have something to tell those adults. I would gladly call these teens my equal and I would consider them my colleagues in the adult world. Too bad more “adults” aren’t as brave as many modern teens are.
The teens, who are yelled at everyday to act more like an adult, are acting their age perfectly. They are acting with more bravery and more courage then I see in most adults and I am damn proud of them.