Students disrespecting authority in school gatherings creates discord

For a school to run successfully, it is necessary for respect between students and faculty to be ingrained in its culture. If either party breaks this contract of mutual courtesy, disciplinary action has to be taken to ensure that any disruptions do not dissipate into larger conflicts.

However, neither students nor the administration followed these guidelines at an assembly on Oct. 19 when the junior class gathered in the auditorium to be recognized for its academic achievements. The ceremony was cut short when students began to misbehave. One student blew a high-frequency whistle that interfered with Principal Dr. Betsy Bockman’s hearing aid, while another threw an award on the floor upon receiving it.

As a result of a few students’ extremely inappropriate behavior, the entire junior class’s movie night was canceled.

We believe that the administration should allow juniors not directly involved in these matters to enjoy movie night. Although we join the administration in condemning such obnoxious displays of disrespect, the majority should not be punished for the juvenile conduct of a few.

The administration has a right to be angry at the junior class for encouraging their peers’ misbehavior, but punishing everyone is not constructive. It simply increases tensions between students and administration. As we move forward, the administration needs to reconsider proper disciplinary action for the misbehaviors of large groups, and students must take responsibility for not only their actions, but the actions of their peers as well.

Maliciously blowing a high pitched whistle to physically hurt an administrator is not “teenage rebellion.” It’s a disgusting attempt to punish the administration for enforcing school policies that students don’t like. As a student body, we have to learn to properly channel disagreement through dialogue, not through disrespect.

Discourtesy at Grady, however, is not isolated to the junior honors assembly. At the school’s Black History Month performance last February, some white students made insensitive jokes about the culture the show aimed to celebrate. At the homecoming pep rally earlier in October, students rudely walked out during rapper M City Jr’s performance, disrespecting him and the administration in their attempt to unite the school.

“Individually we are different; together we are Grady.” Our motto reflects Grady’s pride in our accepting student body. Students ought to strive to embody this by refraining from mocking anyone for their disability, race or other part of their person. High school isn’t great at times, but we’re all in this together. We hurt everyone if we are blatantly rude to the school administration.

Events like pep rallies and honor assemblies are privileges. Administrators voluntarily contribute time and money toward printing awards certificates and planning pep rallies to celebrate the spirit and achievement of the students. Students should acknowledge these efforts by acting respectfully at these events, even if they find them tedious.

It can be tempting to laugh at others when we are bored, frustrated or uncomfortable with something that sets someone apart from us. It can be tempting to follow the crowd even when it is being rude. Students are not in middle school anymore. It’s time to grow up and show more respect.

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