QUOTE


"In school, they said Practice Makes Perfect, and then they said Nobody's Perfect, so I stopped practicing." - Stephen Wright

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Changing my school

First, read about my school and the daily moan for some background info.

[1999] Towards the end of last year I tried to get a petition signed by students that I would give to the principal.  It seemed most of them were rather afraid to sign, and said I should take it to the Forum instead (the Forum was 4 students then). So I did, but the Forum never got around to having a meeting.

[2000] So, this year I'm gonna try again. The Forum is a bit bigger now, and since too many teachers are so damn horrible, I think that will give many people a good reason to want to sign. Let's see what happens...

8 August 00 - The day I realised that the only way my school is going to change for the better is if it just dies. If you can't fix something, discard it. This school is a piece of shit that's been floating in the toilet a long time now. It's time somebody flushed it down. It's about time people in town found out the truth about this school. Our principal has been getting people to believe her promotional bullshit for long enough now. I'll bet people would love to find out what a liar she is, and how much most kids can't stand this school that everyone else out there is so positive about.

30 May 00
- Today the teachers decided to do something about my petition. (Yeah I know this happened a long time ago and I'm only writing about it now, but better late than never). So they called me to the office. It was just me VS Toady and The Big Cheeze. A little unfairly outnumbered yes? I think so. But anyway... One of the first things I was asked was "what my problem is", as if I'm the only one that had anything to do with the petition (at least half the school signed it). They said that the signiatures are worthless because A FEW kids that weren't in the school in '97 had signed the wrong petition (check bottom of page for explanation about the petition). The reason those kids signed that petition is cause they believe everything they hear the rest of us say about how the school used to be. It's a very commonly-talked-about subject. Then the teachers present moaned because there "weren't enough senior signatures on there", as if they could decipher who's scribble belongs to whom. There were only a few seniors that didn't sign the thing because they were members of the Forum and aren't allowed to get involved in things like this.
About the uniform: The teachers told me that the reason they changed the rules about uniforms was because apparently the parents were complaining that we "looked sloppy" and that we abused our rights. I remember CLEARLY that it was fine for us to be able to wear ANY necklace, as long as it's just not too big or colourful, but now the principal says we were only ever allowed chains (small gold ones). That's bull, cause throughout the first year lots of kids wore string thingies with metal thingies on the ends, and the teachers said it's fine and only ever complained if it was more than one or too big.
The principal stared me deep in the eyes and told me that every time interested parents come asking her about the school, they always ask if their child is going to do well academically. She said that's why detention was started, so that kids who are used to not doing their homework can be "pushed" to do their work. So I said that then they only do their work out of fear of punishment. Big Cheeze instantly said "no", but a few moments later she realised I had a point. But then she said "Of course you must realise that their parents have made such a financial sacrifice to get their kids here that they HAVE to do their work" and she continued lecturing me about the parent's money. But if kids do their work just because they feel sorry for their parents paying money then they're only working for that and not for themselves. Also basically out of fear of punishment.
The principal said I'm "sending out negative vibes" with the petition and that they don't like it. They said they don't want petitions, they want people to talk to them. The principal seems to think that she's doing nothing wrong, and that anytime we have any problem, she'll be more than willing to tell us we're wrong, all we have to do is ask. That's why nobody wants to talk to them. But I didn't say that, all I said is that the reason kids don't want to talk to her is because she's good at arguing (Cheeze gives me a dirty look).
Anyway, not much came of all that. Basically the only things the Big Cheeze was willing to consider was the fact that we want to have a say about new changes in the school, and that we don't like the "tone" of our set of rules, and that she was willing to let us rewrite it (but, it's August now, and nothing has come of any of those things. As usual).

22 May 00
- Long time since anything's happened with the petition... (oops). Today I felt particularly motivated to do something about it (read the daily moan to find out why), so I finished it off and gave it to the forum. To Be Continued...

13 March 00 - On Friday 4 people in my school were temporarily suspended for smoking marijuana. I won't give any more details. Alright, so today the teachers got us all together and we took 3 whole periods to discuss it. How, when, why, all that. One thing that came up was that our Code of Conduct doesn't work. I told the Big Cheeze that something that people don't like about it is the fact that it seems to be a rigid set of rules that people have to follow, instead of the "guidelines" it was originally planned as. She actually listened to me. Another person said that all it consists of is "don't this, don't that", there aren't enough positive things in it. She listened to him too. She asked us for ideas and solutions. It made me realise that she IS actually open-minded... she just doesn't show it most of the time. I wish she would. She said she wants us to be able to be open with teachers. I almost felt like telling her it's the way she looks at us that makes people keep their distance, but I didn't. Many students argued with her about the topic of drinking (yeah we got to that too). The law says that people over 18 can legally drink, but the school rules says no. We argued "why not?", and eventually HyperMonkey (the Drama teacher) got pissed off and said "The rules are that way, we decided that's the way it is, just accept it". We did set our original Code of Conduct, but the teachers went and changed things themselves without asking us, and now HyperMonkey wants to tell us that WE agreed on it. Bullshit. But at least I know now that they ARE capable of listening (even if it's only in times of "crisis"). The petition will go through a few changes, and will be given to the Big Cheeze next term (when the 4 suspended ones are back).

9 February 00 - Yesterday I gave the petition to the forum's spokesperson, and he gave it to the Big Cheeze. She doesn't know I made it, and there weren't signatures on it (mistake...).  So today I asked him what she said. She said that the things that have been changed were 'necessary'. She said it's because the school's bigger, and now we 'need' more rules (to control everyone). She said she would like to speak to the person who wrote it (she seems to be under the impression that it's just ONE person who feels that way). I'm not good at talking (especially not to stubborn people like Big Cheeze), so I'm gonna write a letter to her explaining exactly what I meant, and just to prove it's not only me, I'll get people to sign it too.

THE PETITION: There's 3 pages: One is basically a list comparing how the school WAS, and how it has changed. The things that have changed are viewed by the students as negative (unfair detentions, things being changed without asking us... etc). Another one is general stuff that people don't like about the school (why we're forced to wear our blazers, why can't we take CD players on camps, why such a big deal about stuff... etc), and the third page is written and signed by me, explaining my opinion on the whole matter in full.





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