Upperclassmen need more freedom at school for college transition

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Upperclassmen need more freedom at school for college transition

Seniors show their school pride at the 2017 Homecoming assembly.

Seniors show their school pride at the 2017 Homecoming assembly.

Seniors show their school pride at the 2017 Homecoming assembly.

Seniors show their school pride at the 2017 Homecoming assembly.

Paige Novander, Staff reporter

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In a year or two juniors and seniors will be living on their own and becoming even more independent, so high school is a time where a lot of students grow and mature while also figuring out what they want to do with their future.

And yet upperclassmen are given a limited amount of freedom around the school and are not treated in the way they need to be in order to become independent in the coming years.

Senior Jessica Kafka stated that she absolutely thinks that high school students should get more freedom, specifically around the school, touching on the subject about written passes to go to the bathroom.

“I am 18 years old, about to go away to college and live on my own, and not only do I have to ask to go to the bathroom, but my teacher has to write me a pass. I just think it’s ridiculous,” said Kafka.

Most high school seniors are 18 by their second semester, and a lot of them already know what they want to do with their future, yet they are not being treated like adults by their teachers and administrators. There is too much of a gap between the freedoms students get in high school compared to the freedoms students get in college.

In a Dec. 14, 2014, Huffington Post blog posting titled “Give High School Students the Same Freedom as College Students,” author Blake Bosse stated, “In college I discovered a learning atmosphere that respected, trusted, and encouraged me to make responsible choices. Transitioning from high school to college felt like liberation. And it left me wondering: Why don’t we do this sooner? What if we treated all high school students like college students?”

Boss is spot on with his thinking about the freedom, or lack thereof, that high school students get. When some high school students get to college, it’s almost a bit of a shock for them because they have never experienced freedom like this before. That’s also why some people go a bit crazy with their newfound freedom.

Clearly, there would be some problems if students were given too much freedom. For example, if students didn’t think they had to be in class, attendance might drop.

Cheryl Novander, a mom of two high school seniors at MHS, also had some insight on the topic regarding the teachers’ trust with students.

“I think there needs to be a good balance between the teachers and adults in the school trusting the students but also making sure they know where they are. As a mom, I want to know that my kids are safe at school but also think they should be learning how to be independent,” said Novander.

That balance is the key to this controversial problem. For example, simply being able to tell your teacher that you’re going to the bathroom should be enough, no pass necessary. They know where you’re going and should trust that you’ll come back to class.

However, MHS Food and Nutrition teacher, John Stowers thinks that it is necessary because from his own experience, students have asked to go to the bathroom and used that as an excuse to wander around the halls.

“The only place for students to learn is in the classroom, and if students are not asking to go to the bathroom, I won’t know where they are,” said Stowers.

I understand the liability the teachers and the school have for the students, but some of that responsibility should be placed on the seniors, so they learn how to be independent for college.

Transitioning to college is something that a lot of people struggle with, and if there was something high schools could change to make that transition easier, there would be a positive outcome.

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Upperclassmen need more freedom at school for college transition