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School's out and students are venting

Rant

Rant

June 13, 2006|by MATT NEWTON and STEPHANIE SNYDER

MATT: Well, it's been a long year, but school is finally out. I've seen my share of the good, the bad and the ugly.

STEPHANIE:Ugly indeed. All too many times I had to walk down the halls of Boonsboro High School only to see skimpy clothes and kids on annoying cell phones.

MATT: Really? There wasn't much tolerance for that at my school, Washington County Technical High School. The dress code and cell-phone policy were well-enforced. Is it different at Boonsboro?

STEPHANIE: Yeah, they actually cracked down the last week of school, but the rest of the year it was pretty much anything goes. Don't get me wrong - a little leniency is great but not if it gets to the point where it's a distraction to those who actually care.

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MATT: Yeah. I was personally happy that there was a lot of order at Tech, though at times the rules just went too far. On April 26, there was a day in which people of all sexual orientations and gender identities who support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights took a vow of silence to recognize the challenges that LGBT people face every day. Quite a few students participated, wearing T-shirts and staying mute all day. But students were forced to take off their shirts, although there was absolutely nothing obscene on them.

STEPHANIE: The schools just can't seem to get some things straight. I would have loved more order in Boonsboro, but they usually discipline to the extreme - either too relaxed or entirely too strict. One English teacher was cool enough to actually enforce the rules without being too mean or too lenient.

MATT: Every teacher has his or her own policy to accompany the school rules. But a few teachers I've encountered were a little out of line themselves. Case in point: a teacher threatened to write me up recently for walking too slowly through his classroom while I was on my way to my tech class. Save the referrals for the real troublemakers, please. At least it's not a huge recurring problem.

STEPHANIE: I've also had ridiculous encounters with teachers and faculty, but it's not all bad. The assistant principals at Boonsboro are often reasonable with their rulings, and they do monitor the more obvious things like wearing hats in the halls and very showy clothing. Still, kids have cell-phone convos in the bathroom rather than sitting in class.

MATT: I'm sure the schools can't keep track of every kid that wears a skimpy skirt or ducks into the bathroom with a cell phone. Still, I hate to see other students get away with these things while I'm being yelled at for my walking pace. School would be far less of a burden if students didn't have to worry about trivial things and could focus more on fundamental things such as, well, education.

Rants are commentaries by teens.

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