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Teens disrespect figures of authority

[/media-credit] A common theme found throughout most high schools is that students tend to be disrespectful of property and adults.

Students show lack of appreciation towards campus staff

Students may show disrespect towards adults out of anger or frustration, but there is always a reason behind why they are not respectful. Some reasons might include; an imbalance in their home situations, personal issues, a grudge against the teacher or maybe they are just having a rough day.

There are many ways students are disrespectful. Some ways might include; talking back, mocking, being defiant, talking over them, being on their phones or just being sarcastic.

A few teachers around the campus feel like students are not showing them the proper respect they deserve. Spanish teacher Rachel Rodriguez notices that students are not showing respect by the way they respond to their teachers.

“Some students think it’s OK to talk back, talk while the teacher is talking or talk through their teeth when they have been redirected to do what they should be doing,” Rodriguez said. “Some other ways students disrespect me is by not trying hard in my class, not doing their work and not doing their work with excellence.”

“I briefly have told my students that there is a reward when they honor and that is the Bible,” Rodriguez continued. “There are also consequences when they don’t honor. They get what they work for when it comes to their grade. The only thing I can do is give them a few pointers on honor since my subject is Spanish and not Christian living. If the bad behavior continues I will give them lunch detention.”

Recently, math teacher Kristina Breshears shares with her classes that she feels there is a lack of respect students show towards their teachers. Breshears feels like students take their education for granted and should take it more seriously. She wishes they would think of it as an opportunity to learn.

In my short time working here, this year especially I have noticed that students are more interested in having fun instead of paying attention and following my classroom rules,” Breshears said. “My rules are simple, work when I ask you to work and don’t talk when I am talking. When a student is not respectful to me, I have them sit outside the class kind of like a time out. After an issue is faced, I talk to the student one on one and specifically address the issue with the student

“I try to clearly communicate how the student was disrespectful so they know how to correct their behavior in the future,” Breshears continued. “My goal it to improve my leadership influence (like we talked about in advisory) with these students. I am trying to improve my relationship with my students so they want to show me respect in the classroom. I’m also trying to be firm and consistent with my expectations and consequences in the classroom.”

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Even though students are the ones showing disrespect towards adults, some think that it is not the right thing to do. Danielle Foster, ‘20, thinks students should be more respectful to our elders because they are preparing us for our future. Also, she shares that some think it is cool to be disrespectful.

“I have seen many students show disrespect towards adults,” Foster said. “For example, students show disrespect to teachers when they talk when they are talking, correcting them and being on their phones. I think teens are disrespectful towards adults because they want to be ‘cool’ in a way because that’s what some people think is cool.”

“I completely agree with the punishments that come with being disrespectful,” Foster continued. “In order for students to learn from their mistakes, there must be consequences. We should respect our elders because of all their doing is trying to help us succeed and preparing us for the future.”

Not only teachers on campus are feeling disrespected but also authority figures through the community. Chowchilla Police officer Jeff Palmer also feels a lack of respect that teens show him while in working. Palmer explains that disrespect can be anything from the refusal to listen or just calling mean names.

“I have been disrespected by young kids while in uniform,” Palmer said. “My job would be far easier if more respect for authority and others were shown. Most calls I responded to were results of one person being disrespectful towards another. If people had respect for police, there would be far less use of force cases because they are usually a direct result of the person refusing a command then refusing to be arrested.

“Unfortunately, disrespect is shown throughout all age groups,” Palmer continued. “There is more in the youth as a result of poor parenting or lack of parenting. When I was a child, I was more worried about what my parents would do to me versus what the cops would do. I always had respect for the law and elders and I believe most kids back then did as well. We now live in a society where parents and adults in positions of authority are made fun of on the TV or in the media.”

Head custodian of the school, Thomas Beasley explains some of the hardships of being a custodian at a high school. Beasley has been working at the school for 13 years. Even though his job can be difficult he still loves it.

“There are a few things that students do that make my job harder than it needs to be,” Beasley said. “One example of something that students do is clogging toilets on purpose. Students have not been disrespectful to me recently, but in the past, they have been. One thing that bugs me is having to work longer because of the messes students make.”

[/media-credit] Often times teachers cover and clean up after students because of the love they have for the students.

Joshua Savage, ‘19, explains his opinion on the topic. Savage says that there is always a cause to why the student is disrespectful.

“I have disrespected a teacher before when I was in junior high, and I definitely remember the consequences I faced,” Savage said. “There are many reasons why students may show disrespect. I think teachers should be understanding of the feelings of the students and give them grace. I believe that is if there is no gracious intervention, then the problem will keep going.

“Students should respect adults because they are their elders,” Savage continued. “We should show nothing less than respect to their elder. Whether the student likes the teacher, or not, there should still be a level of respect that they would expect if they were in the elder’s position.”

The common theme found throughout campus is that the relationship between students and teacher needs mutual respect. Without it, the relationship is bound to have issues.

To read another article check out: Column: Serve through selfless acts.

The author can be reached via email: Braden Bell, Instagram and Twitter.

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