Saying It Well...

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"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."— Mark Twain

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Sunday, April 24, 2005

We Don't Need No Education

My high school has a new administration this year and they are freaking insane. For example.
My friend missed school because she went to on a field trip to the hospital. She has diabetes and is really interested in medical stuff. Well she did not have a note because field trips are automatically excused. The administration calls her down to the office to give her Saturday school because she has ONE "unexcused" absence. She says "I was at the hospital" and before she has time to explain why the assistant principal says "Yeah, sure you were." Not only does this not give time for the student to explain herself, but she has a freaking insulin pump on her hip, what the hell are they challenging her for?
It gets worse. My other friend gives a note excusing an absence to the attendance office who are slow and get annoyed if you ever ask them anything (once they sat there telling me I couldn't go home even though I was obviously having a panic attack and hyperventilating). The note does not get put through by the time my friend gets called down for the freaking Saturday School, so she picks it up from the note submission basket on her way. "How convenient," Little Miss Bitch says, "and I expect you want me to believe that is legitimate? You just wrote it, didn't you?" "Call my mom," Innocent Cool Chick counters. Well then Student Body Officer Big Shot Hottie comes in and openly admits to sluffing. So-LMB lets him off. Now SBOBSH is a nice guy and I am not blaming him, but what the hell, right? So ICC says "Excuse me? He does not have a note and you will let him off but not me? Doesn't that go against your own rules? The ones you set and enforce, albeit ineffeiciently? Why-" So then LMB interrupts with "I suggest you shut up. If you bring this up again, you will be suspended."
And they are shortening our lunch period by 15 minutes next year.
Please tell me how i should deal with these bastards.
Excuse my obscenity.


JoAnna said...

Unfortunately, I think the only way to deal, is to just play their game and fly below the radar. But then, I'm not very good at rebellion and assertiveness. The way you tell about the Incredibly Cool Chick, it sounds like the administrator was afraid of getting in trouble and threatened her not to tell anyone about the situation. Could be. Or could be she's just dumb enough to handle it that way.
I hate that "grown ups" treat teenagers and delinquints no matter what. I never was and I didn't deserve to be treated that way- but I was because that's life. Jamie's cool about saying things to people to put them in their place and still sound professional. Maybe make her your hero. I simply don't know.

amie-j said...

I know you didn't ask my advice, but if you blog, you run the risk of getting a lengthy, rambling essay.

I have an easy suggestion and a complicated one. If you stay under the radar as Joanna said, your worries are over. You follow the rules and the punishments they are enforcing will not affect you. That is actually the path I prefer to take. Others may not agree with that. You have to weigh the risks against the results.

If you feel like the policies are affecting you in an unfair way, you may decide to bring it to someone’s attention.

When you try to communicate about an issue that elicits emotion form either party, chances are you'll get poor results unless you handle it in a way that removes the emotion or at least downplays it. For instance, if you make up your mind that the administration is stupid and they are doing these things with no rhyme or reason, and you try to address the situation, the administration will pick up on your attitude and take a defensive stance. Face it, they have the power. Students and even parents mostly have the power to annoy, and that doesn’t resolve anything in the end.

If you try to approach the subject from a neutral stance you might get somewhere, which in most cases when you are dealing with an institution means that an individual there may listen to you and possibly understand where you are coming from. You may feel better, and with any luck, that person may have an influence on the decision making process.

You could ask to set up an appointment with one of the administrators. If you can get any kind of dialog going, you should genuinely try to find out how the new policy works and what has caused the decision to be made. Maybe a bunch of parents complained that kids were getting caught up in hall sweeps, and needed more time between classes. Maybe they have data or statistics that state that drug use increases during lunch the lunch hour by 20% for every five minutes beyond the initial 30 minutes. Who knows, usually decisions are not made to make people unhappy. They probably have some information that has caused them to change policies. Let them know you appreciate the input. Ask them if they would be open to any feedback from the student body (if you have handled yourself well, they may feel compelled to listen). Then present your perception in an organized and logical way. (It helps to have bulleted notes). You might say that you have concerns about the Saturday make up class because it seems that people with legitimate excuses have been subject to the class due to organizational issues. Give them a chance to comment on each objection. Listen to the comment with out arguing. Say things like “I never saw it like that” or “I can see how you came to that decision”, then “The reason I don’t agree is...” or "I see things differently because..." Offer to put your feelings in writing and thank them for their time. Instead of sounding like a teenager with an attitude, you come across as someone with legitimate concerns, someone who is trying to understand the system and contribute to it.

Honestly, the encounters I have had with various institutions over the years have led nowhere, except to place my children (or myself) under heightened scrutiny. Sometimes there are benefits to blending in. Once you start working you will find that to be true. Employees that complain don’t have as much success as those that try to understand the situation and adopt new practices, regardless of how they feel about the changes. I’m not saying that your feelings don’t have foundation. I'm not one to jump in and take the side of the orginizatio. It’s easy to get upset about a change, especially when you don’t have the facts from both sides. Keep that in mind as you decide how to proceed.

Gigi said...

I like the idea of staying under the radar. I never understand the people who get in trouble. Its only a waste of time and you dont necessarily gain anything from it. Its also dumb that people think that I am dumb for thinking that way, oh well I am not the one who is being yelled at or wasting my saturday at school. Anywho, school sucks!