T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 48854
posted 03-01-2011 08:13 AM
I'm sorry about posting in this area so much, but this is bothering me. A lot.
The new superintendent of schools in my area is trying to get a new bill passed. I'll admit, I haven't read the entire thing, but I know the basics from a friend of mine who is on the education committee that's reviewing it. The basic overview is that this bill would cut over seven hundred teachers. Every student would be assigned a laptop and would do most classes online. Class sizes would be increased (and there's already about forty students in a class as is!) and tenure for new teachers would go "Poof". Yesterday, students all over my area walked out of school in protest. These are teenagers-every one of them is at least thirteen, with most of them fourteen and older, depending on their date of birth. They did this as an act of protest against the school district trying to increase classes that are already too big, trying to give them an education through the internet, and trying to cut teachers that have inspired and guided hundreds of students. So, I'm "friends" with the local news station on Facebook, and they posted a question asking if people would write an excuse note for a teenager who wanted to skip school to protest. I read some of the other replies, posted one of my own (yes, I would), and went back a while later to find some other people had replied. And what really has got me angry right now is that one of these people who replied said that "I would venture to say that 95% of the kids "protesting" do not even know the facts of what they are protesting against. I believe the teachers are encouraging them to do this and are using them to fight THEIR battle....that is child exploitation." That's the exact text of their message. I can't believe, after our country has been going this long, and everyone, under-18's included, has made a difference-I mean for goodness sake, there are charities created and run by ten year olds!! I hate that this person referred to all of the protesters as kids and that this is child exploitation. I grew up with the dictionary definition of a kid or a child being someone who was not yet an adolescent. That doesn't quite fit for teenagers. But what bothers me the most is that apparently, a person, a born homosapien under the age of 18 (or, for that matter, at 18, since some of these protesters were high school seniors), is unable to listen to the news and read the paper. I don't think all of these teens read the full text of this bill. I didn't, I doubt these commenters did either. But teenagers still hear the news and see the newspaper headlines, and some of them even *read* the paper, a fact I'm sure these posters would be surprised to hear, and no doubt they'd disbelieve the "kids" could come up with that idea too. And then, of course, it's the teachers who instigated this. It seems that in my area, at least, anyone 18 and under is in a huge group, a lump referred to as kids. A seven year old is equal to a seventeen year old, and for either age to have a revolutionary idea, there must be a conniving teacher saying "The school wants to make me go away! You don't want me to go away, do you?" (hands out candy) "Now, if you don't want me to have to go away, run out on the playground and play on the jungle gym all day, and they won't make me leave and I can give out more chocolate!" At the most, these teens have five years left before becoming adults...before becoming useful legally. Until then, apparently, they should keep their noses out of adult business. I turn 19 in less than a week, and I'll admit that I had only a vague idea of the topics at hand when I went to vote last November. I didn't even now *how* to vote. Voting is adult stuff, but as soon as you've been in this world for 18 years, you're expected to suddenly gain the knowledge you'll need. I wondered until I was 17 when I would suddenly understand adulthood, when I would learn the secrets of the world and enter into the Adult Conspiracy to Keep Interesting Things from Children. It turns out, in the real world, you don't learn that, and the school doesn't teach you. You have to learn by experience. That's what these students are trying to do, and being dismissed because they haven't attained the magic number. And our country wonders why young adults don't vote and seem so apathetic about life...it's because life has been apathetic about them. This is frighteningly reminiscent of the larger-picture issues...as I was typing my reply, it reminded me of all of the abortion controversy. The people who matter, who will be affected most, are shoved aside and ignored, and people who don't have to deal with the consequences of the result are deciding their fate.
Member # 3
posted 03-01-2011 06:46 PM
Kawani: I actually really appreciate and respect so much of what you have said here.
How would you feel about maybe working this into an entry for our blog?
Member # 48854
posted 03-01-2011 10:41 PM
I don't know how good it is, but I can try.
related to this, a representative of the news station sent me a message saying they had seen my reply and were wondering if I would be willing to give a short interview. [ 03-01-2011, 10:44 PM: Message edited by: Kawani3792 ]
Member # 41657
posted 03-02-2011 02:20 PM
I never thought that phrase would catch on! I totally agree with you that the way they're trying to screw kids over from a position of power over them and then pretend that they don't know what they're talking about when they protest, is awful.
Member # 48854
posted 03-02-2011 07:59 PM
What, born homosapiens? I've seen it used, and it seems like the most to-the-point way to define it. They aren't children, and since a person at the age of 18 is considered, legally, an adult, teen doesn't quite fit. They're a human being who is no longer physically dependent on another's body for existence, therefore they should have rights that just don't seem to be there.
We're on the third day of students walking out on classes, today it was junior high students, and for being ages 12-14 (approximately) they seem remarkably well-informed about what is going on. One of my friends is organizing a rally at the capitol building and inviting the mutual friend from the education committee. This is becoming a huge thing for students all over, because I hadn't realized, but this is the state superintendent. It isn't just my area, it's the entire state of ID. I am so proud of the students in this state, you would not believe.
Member # 3
posted 03-02-2011 08:04 PM
Kawani, that's fantastic about the news station!
Member # 48854
posted 03-03-2011 06:02 AM
That's what I thought. I understand that they just think it'll make good television, but I like that they're covering both sides of this story.
The mutual friend from the Education Committee has stated that the bill that will cut a bunch of teachers and put kids online is, essentially, dead. Right now, we're hoping that the other bills that were introduced with it are killed as well, because they're only useful if this dead bill were passed. They were introduced to enable the other bill. One of them is for teacher pay based on performance, which is still an issue especially for high schoolers. The best teachers can't make students pay attention, so more teachers will be passing students who didn't do the work, or giving easier work. Basically, my brilliant AP English teacher or German teacher, would get *less* than the Psych teacher where we watched a video and answered a question sheet literally every day, and every test was multiple-choice open book. And the other removes collective bargaining for teachers, which is an issue. EDIT: The bill to cut teachers, the crux of the matter, was sent back to committee-the senator friend says from experience that that means it isn't dead until the legislators all go home in April or May. And there's still people accusing the 'kids' of not having any idea what they're doing, of just wanting something to do. People are actually saying that they'll go to the rally my friend is organizing, just so that they can post and say that they aren't and all the teenagers who are have never read the bills, don't understand what they're talking about and should leave this to the adults. And this right here, this is why the friend from the education committee is one of my favorite people- "A huge number of them had actually read some of the bills. They were articulate and smart. I'm so impressed." About the student protesters outside the capitol building yesterday. She's also leading a campaign for the next two weeks to sticky-note the doors to the building with notes telling the Chairman to hold a public hearing on the bill to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the human rights act. This state is backwards in so many ways, but there are a very few forwards-facing people. And the forwards-facing people are all *amazing*. [ 03-03-2011, 06:12 AM: Message edited by: Kawani3792 ]
Member # 56822
posted 03-04-2011 05:46 AM
This sounds great! It's just so hypocritical to make decisions that would definitely adversely affect students (and they know it), and then when the students oppose it, say "You don't know what it really means, you don't know what we're talking about, you're being 'exploited'." Where is the book that says definitely that younger people can't be concerned about something and can't have opinions? It doesn't exist. It just goes along with the "Children (said in a derogatory way) should be seen and not heard, and should (guilt trip) look up to their betters (said in an arrogant way)."
The only way these unfair, outdated beliefs can be reduced or removed is by opposing them and rallying with other people who would be affected. Good on you for making a concerted stand!
Member # 41657
posted 03-04-2011 07:24 AM
quote: Originally posted by Kawani3792: What, born homosapiens? I've seen it used, and it seems like the most to-the-point way to define it. They aren't children, and since a person at the age of 18 is considered, legally, an adult, teen doesn't quite fit. They're a human being who is no longer physically dependent on another's body for existence, therefore they should have rights that just don't seem to be there. I meant that I've never heard anyone say that other than me, and I thought I might possibly have originated it. (I've used it under different usernames on other boards/blogs as well). My definition is literally any homosapien who is born and not legally an adult, I don't use the term just to refer to teenagers below the legal age of adulthood. Can you clarify how you were using it? I don't quite understand. Plus, you weren't saying that infants or preteen children shouldn't have rights, right? (as far as I'm concerned, once you are born you are equal to an adult and should be recognised as an autonomous being who others do not have the right to control the sexuality of, deny body ownership to, force to follow a religion, etc).
Member # 48854
posted 03-05-2011 01:28 AM
Sorry if that came out wrong!
I meant that instead of saying "Apparently children don't matter to this system" or "Apparently teens don't matter to this system", since neither of those fit. By a human being no longer dependent on someone else's body for existence, I mean they're outside the womb. I realize technically an infant does depend on someone else, but that isn't how I meant that, and definitely infants and preteens should have rights. This particular rant only centered on teens because that's the age range of the protesting students. The post quoted was me explaining how I used it in the context of this board, not how I define it in the broader spectrum of things. In the broader view, if I'm speaking of a born homosapien under 18, I would be speaking of any human being from a second old to the second before 18 years from the day they were born. In this situation, I used it because it covered the broad range of anyone under 18, rather than being limited to teenagers or children. The "they" was referring to the protesting students, which is why that mostly referred to teens/middle schoolers. I think you probably did originate it, I've mostly seen it used on the Scarleteen boards and from a few friends on another board who use Scarleteen sometimes. (I hope this made sense! I'm not very good at getting what I want to say onto paper...or comment form...exactly how it sounds in my head.)
Member # 41657
posted 03-05-2011 09:26 AM
Thankyou for explaining, I understand what you meant now.