Respect Students


Picture by Sierra Gutierrez

By Sierra Gutierrez, Staff Writer

How mature is the average teen? No really, think about it. Look around any classroom on campus and you will find the student body engaged in a wide range of behaviors. From the perfectionist students planning their whole lives ahead of them to the jokers tossing water bottles in the back, it can be hard to tell the exact level of maturity and self-control that your peers possess. Caught in that odd transition between childhood and adulthood, Quartz Hill adolescents must quickly learn to shape up and act responsibly to have a successful high school career. In fact, junior and senior students in particular are practically adults at this point in their lives – why is it then that many teachers still treat us like children?

This question has been asked by many dissatisfied teens in the past; it is usually answered with the same phrase: “You are treated like children because you act like children.” As embarrassing as it may be to admit, those who say things like this are probably correct. As seventeen and eighteen year olds, students are commonly overwhelmed by the idea of entering the adult world, going to college, starting a career, and living a life all on their own. Certainly these fearful and inexperienced people should not be expected to act like regular adults, much less treated with the same respect as one

However, the key phrase there is “inexperienced.” As junior Allison Glatfelter puts it, “I get that I don’t know how to do taxes… but I think I can handle myself in a classroom.”

Although it is true that the adolescent brain is not finished developing, studies have found that the reasoning and decision-making parts of the brain do not stop developing either until well into the 20’s. But for some reason, the 19-year-old fresh out of high school is still treated with much more respect than the 17-year-old senior is. Neither one has much real world experience yet, but that should not matter when deciding how to treat them on a daily basis. Okay, so maybe you would trust the 19-year-old slightly more than a 16-year-old when it comes to things like getting a job or voting responsibly, but surely the ability and experience associated with those adult tasks do not have much to do with whether or not they should have to raise their hand to go to the bathroom.

Teens are basically small adults – inexperienced, confused adults, but still adults. By this point, we already have a growing awareness of the larger world. We understand complex issues and are capable of self-control just like any legal adult. Students at this age know the consequences of failing grades beyond a disappointed look from their teacher, and they can weigh the pros and cons of slacking off in their schoolwork. Because of this, our success in education should be in their own hands.

So, teens, do your part. Take responsibility for your life, and prove that you deserve to be given the respect and consideration you desire. You are not a child anymore. Soon, you will be a fully functional adult – and if you want to be taken seriously, you need to act like one.

And teachers, do not make us put our backpacks in cubbies and shelves like we are in third grade again. Let us decide whether or not we will be too distracted by the fascinating contents of our schoolbag to actually learn. Let us step outside and answer a phone call or a text and let us fail the next exam because of it. Give us the freedom to choose our preferred partners for group work. Let us have conversations where teachers do not patronize us like little kids. Instead, address us as real people who are reasonable and have a true desire to improve. Most of all, let us go to the bathroom without having to announce it to the class, please.