Students Speak out

Sydney Smith

 Teenageers just want to be heard. We, as Carl Junction High School students, are close to entering the world as adults. Soon, we will be leaving our parents’ protection and venturing out on our own. We will be living in a world where you are allowed to voice your opinion; in fact, it’s encouraged.

 However, we still have many people trying to silence us. We have parents that don’t understand us and a school that doesn’t let us speak. “Sometimes you can feel like you are trapped in a cage,” says Brooke Buchele (sophomore). We recognize school is there to help us gain the knowledge that is vitally important to our futures, but should we be able to have some say in how it is run? The administration runs our lives in the high school. We are subjects in their kingdom. We have just accepted this fact, not even questioning the way things are – and it’s time for a change. “We should have more say in how things happen around the school,” Lakyn Shallenburger (sophomore) states.

 So what should happen around the school? The dress code and the phone policy are arguably some of the biggest issues students have problems with. Students are feeling oppressed and discriminated against when it comes to how we are told to dress. Girls cannot expose your shoulders because the guy you sit next to could get distracted. Girls aren’t allowed to wear the shirt of their choice because you are “too busty” or “plus size.” We aren’t allowed or express ourselves.

 Phones are another major issue. “What is wrong with using your phone outside of class or at lunch?” says Paije Hartje (sophomore). We understand that in class students are there to learn and, at this time, we should not be on our phones. However, in the hallways or at lunch is our time to relax, to ask our parents a question, or ask our siblings how we are getting home when the last bell rings. Several students have reported that their phone was sitting on the lunch table, untouched, and they were written up for it.

 Another issue includes not having backpacks in our classes. The argument is that there could be items inside that are not school approved, and they take up too much space in our already crowded rooms. We can see how these are valid reasons, but we ask why we cannot have them in the last block on Fridays but we can have them in homeroom.  How is this a logical policy? And how are backpacks detrimental to our education?   

 We understand that most guidelines are set in place to keep us safe and to better our education. The issues of dress codes, phone, and backpack are minor, but the lack of student voice is major.  When people are left out of the governing process, they tend to focus on trivial, shallow policies.  When we as students are not a part of the process, we get frustrated; we get angry. When a school policy is created, changed, or removed, we should be consulted. If we were included in the process, maybe we would understand the administration’s view points or just maybe the administration would work on compromises.  “Carl Junction High School–Succeeding Together” introduces our web page. Let’s make it a reality, not a catch phrase.