A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Student disrespect should be addressed more effectively

In some classrooms more than others, both teachers and students alike have witnessed student-to-teacher abuse, whether it be verbal, emotional or even physical.  However, it seems that everyone refuses to address this issue. Teachers receive mediocre treatment, starting from their salary, and added to that, the emotional distress and minimal free time away from the job and its responsibilities.

A lot of people fail to acknowledge that teachers shape the future. According to the ING Foundation Survey, roughly 88 percent of people say a teacher had a “significant, positive impact” on their lives. Teachers educate students on how to be successful and achieve their goals in life. This knowledge sticks throughout a lifetime.

Educating can be extreme, complex employment. Similarly, as with any other job, there are days that are difficult to get past. Around 98 percent of individuals state an instructor can change the course of a student’s life.

In any case, these individuals who have submitted their lives to the job still face difficulties when going about their instructive endeavor. The issue with students have been one of the most difficult issues teachers face daily. No one knows the root of that bad behavior, as there have been a number of people attributing this to bad parenting and some to the environment, including peer pressure.

For this behavior, a lot of students get detention or suspension; this can be good news for students who don’t want to be in class in the first place. Even when their punishment is served, most still come back with the same attitude. This proves our disciplinary actions against bad behavior is ineffective, and the individual who pays for this the most are teachers. Limiting students from participating in fun activities or extracurricular activities when they have a record of bad behavior can definitely help, since most students care about these kinds of activities.

Nevertheless, some teachers fee like “punishments” like ALC or banishment from extracurriculars wouldn’t change the attitudes of those who are the most disruptive and disrespectful.

“I think that they do care[if a student is being disrespectful], but they also are extremely limited in options for how to deal with a situation,” said a Parkdale teacher who wished to remain anonymous. “Schools throughout the county and the state have been looked down upon for using suspensions as punishments. We have been severely limited in punishment options. We supposedly look bad if we give out suspensions.”

Obviously there are limited actions in which administrators can take; our rules definitely need to change.

“I have had multiple issues with random students in the hallways being extremely rude, disrespectful, and vulgar toward me if I ever happen to ask them to get moving to their classes, or show their hall passes, ID’s, etc.” said Anonymous Parkdale Teacher. Teachers experience disrespect from students they don’t know or aren’t enrolled in their class since these students feel those teachers have no power over them since they can’t really identify them.

With the vast interaction that takes place in schools daily, there seems to be a normalization of this kind of behavior due to peer pressure. Even when a teacher is being disrespected in class, very few students want to stand up for the teacher because they don’t want to be “that kid.” This mindset a lot of students certainly doesn’t prepare them for the real world, where their intervention or lack thereof can be a matter of life or death.

“I feel extremely stressed by just walking in the halls during class changes,” said the teacher. “They are very crowded and loud. And the things that I overhear students saying is normally very inappropriate.”