Social Policies – What’s Bugging Kennady

Social Policies - Whats Bugging Kennady

Kennady Anderson, Staff Writer

We are here at the new high school as 15-18 years olds. We’ve been attending schools for the greater portion of our lives, yet here we are using our 45 minutes of class to talk about respect and learning new hand motions to try and keep kids under control. I understand that students can act like children but that does not mean we need to take the time to go back and work on basic knowledge that we should all have.

Do teachers and students really need hand motions to keep this school environment under control? All of this rings a familiar bell of the claps teachers used to get our attention in elementary school. In every social contract, I’ve heard “act like adults, be treated like adults in return” or “act mature” constantly, but I don’t believe these new gestures fall into that category. Not to mention that each social contract takes a whole class period, so we spend 45 minutes talking about respect.

Another way they are apparently “capturing childrens’ hearts” is by shaking our hands, though students seem to go out of their way to avoid this. “I hate touching other people’s hands so everyday I bring a coffee mug and hold my phone so I don’t have to shake their hands,” McKenna Natzke said.

They are not bringing this school together, they are giving us opportunities to plan elaborate and creative ways to enter the building while avoiding administrators who use our handshakes as the toll fee. The reason the school is doing this is to make kids feel more welcome, make a more inclusive classroom and make connections with the students, but I’d the only connections being made are between students who are equally disgusted with the idea of shaking hands.

I did a social contract in five classes, but each class followed the exact same steps each time. Walk in, get put into groups, talk through some questions about how we, our peers or our teachers want to be treated. Come back together as a group to share what we came up with. Every group had one thing in common: Respect. In every class, the teacher would look at us and ask what respect means to us. I understand sometimes we need to review basic expectations, but this method seems inefficient.

With everything going on recently I understand why the school would want to try and start the semester off with the new school and new idea intended to make everyone happier. They way they are implementing theses ideas is not making the connections they are looking for. Kids take these social contracts as a joke and see these handshakes as an easy way to get sick. If the administration really wants the new school to have welcoming atmosphere I would suggest to just listen to the kids. We are all either adults or just a few years away from being one. These juvenile policies aren’t helping us.