Respect is receding

From elementary school up until we all transition over to Summit, the school faculty shoves the six pillars and the Golden Rule, “treat others how you want to be treated”, down our throats repeatedly with posters, signs and activities to make sure we understand how to behave properly. And from Summit until you graduate, the pillars and the Golden Rule have been meshed all together to form one big message; Respect.

Respect is an important thing because it’s the basis of human interaction. Respect is needed for meeting future bosses, all adults and people in general. If you constantly disrespect people, that is all you will receive back.

So to spice up the amount of kindness seen around the school, the student council introduced the Acts of Kindness movement. If a student council member sees someone do a kind act that is out of their way, they would hand that person an orange neon bracelet that says Johnston #AOK on it. As a member of student council, I was given a handful of bracelets to hand out. I am disappointed to say that I did not give out a single bracelet to anyone.

From what I have observed in the time period that the student council did the Acts of Kindness movement, the student body struggles with showing respect. May this be towards teachers or peers, I hardly see any.

School should never be a place for people to come with the sole purpose of harassing others. There are much better uses for someone’s time than bothering other people. Picking on someone is a lot more effort and work than just ignoring them.

The only times respect is mentioned in high school is in advisory. Advisory teaches us about cyberbullying and proper things to do in real life situations, but from personal experience and what I have observed, this does us no good and no one pays attention during it anyway.

This important message of respect needs to be more than just referenced in advisory. Sending out pointless quizzes and showing us videos meant for little kids that teach us about respect does not cut it. Maybe it is time to drop our trusty BrainPOP “Tim and Moby” and switch to group building activities like the fleece blankets that we all created for the student council to ship out to people in need.

These activities, like the fleece blanket one, involve the entire advisory and allow us to get to know one another better. When advisory teachers complete a respect quiz that is meant for the students to actually complete, no progress is made. Sophomore Liera Bender is confused about this idea as well.

“I don’t understand why they keep sending out this stuff to teach kids respect if the kids are literally disrespecting the thing they are supposed to be learning from,” Bender said.

Nevertheless, advisory is not what I am focusing on, I am just stating some different activities we could do in advisory. But since times have changed, so has the amount of kindness.

“I think it’s just our generation,” Bender said. “There are some things that change, like calling older people Sir, Mr., Mrs., Ma’am.”

While I do believe that our generation is less kind than previous ones, there is debate over who is at fault for this problem.

“I don’t think it’s the kids fault, I think it’s the parents,” Dowell said. “Some parents don’t hold their kids accountable,” AP psychology teacher, Jesse Dowell said.

Parents cannot force their kids to behave exactly the way they want them to.

“There is a natural human tendency to see what you can get away with,” Dowell said. “So kids are supposed to, on a certain level, challenge authority, but it’s the job of the adults to set the boundaries.”

Even the smallest amounts of discipline would help to continue the tradition of treating others with kindness and respect.

One way to do this is to help others that are in need. It has been said that true happiness can be found in helping others. May this be volunteering or just helping someone pick up something they dropped, it all counts. Either way you are showing that person or those people that you care and are willing to lend a hand when needed.

It is time to put peer pressure and concern for your social status aside and focus on the real issue, bringing back the respect.

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