School Survival

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Youth Liberation: School

School is boring because we don't get to do what we want or care about.
by Radical Youth

Everyday you sit in your class. Staring constantly at the white walls, whiteboards and the white history shoved down your throats. The regurgitated boredom fed to you by your teachers and the state leaving you feeling listless and apathetic. It's no wonder emo is so popular at the moment as young, mainly students vent their hopelessness through ‘non-conformity' by conforming.

School is boring. There isn't much debate between students on that point, but the reality is that it's boring because we don't get to do what we want or care about. If we get some sort of opportunity for freedom it's controlled with restrictions on time frames and fulfilling criteria. With no time to read or expand our mind beyond the narrow reaches of the school system or the state-approved history books we have no opportunity to learn what we really want. We are bombarded by pointless assignments and tests so we can 'gain' enough credits to 'succeed'. And success is never learning, but instead conforming to a narrow set of boxes. When placed in a classroom with 30 other students with virtually no way to share your opinion, what you already know or learnt can't be expressed in the classroom model leaving you hating the 'place of learning'.

We are told that this is it. The power structure of a dominant (usually male) principal enforcing detentions to teach you and your peers a lesson - one they hope and know you will remember for the rest of your life - a lesson of being controlled. By your parents, your teachers, your boss, the law and government. If we drop out we are failures in the eyes of society, if we fight back we are kicked out and made an example of.

Teachers in themselves are not always bad, but under the system they serve, they put in place barriers to your real learning, so they too are the oppressors.

My peers and I often deal with teachers and school management treating me with condescending, and disrespectable conduct. That same behaviour such as yelling at a student, intimidation, and unjustified punishment, would be unacceptable if a student yelled back to vent his or her frustration at a teacher and would more than likely get kicked out, as was the case of one of my friends.

Winter brings to mind vivid memories of standing in the freezing cold with rain drizzling down my back as I shudder in a circle of my friends to keep warm. That memory was of last Friday. As the teachers are shielded from the cold with their cosy warm staff room the rest of my school is forced to suffer out in the frigid cold with winds howling around us. The science block, the food tech block, the history/geo, the computing block and the maths block have all banned us from loitering in their halls, trying to stay warm. With nowhere to go, this is the life we live, for morning teas and lunchtime for over half the school year. With poorly heated classrooms, like my maths one with only one tiny oil heater, it makes me wonder the merits of getting up in the morning. Along with the inappropriate and discriminative uniform enforced by my school to not give girls wearable pants (they are heinous), this was a direct tactic by my school who very unwillingly offer the option. Years 9-11 only having a knee length skirt option. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who's starting to feel like a prisoner.

This all leads to the question I often ask myself and friends: HOW CAN 80 TEACHERS, 3 D.P.s AND 1 PRINCIPAL CONTROL OVER 1500 STUDENTS?

The answer is all around you at school. When you do something 'wrong' (like sleep as long as your teenaged body needs) meaning you slept in, you are punished. Made to feel inferior and made an example of. Another less obvious tactic widely used but not only by schools but by the state is to 'divide and rule' where students end up venting there subconscious anger for the system on each other, where to feel they fit in by creating subcultures and gangs. School keeps us hating each other and school so we don't wake up and realise if we worked together, we could create a school, a society, a world we want to inherit.

Original Article

Written by: Radical Youth
8 August 2007

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