Welcome to my free e-book, entitled “Why Do We Have To Go To School?” This e-book is designed to empower teachers as they try to educate our young people. I am going to release a gigantic e-book that answers many of the questions that students ask, entitled “Answering The 20 Most Popular Student Questions” on August 10, 2010. It will be available for download on my website, www.newteacherhelp.com.
I have discovered during my 19 years in the field of education that students want to know “why” they have to follow certain rules. My gift to educators (and parents) is to answer these questions in a straightforward, insightful, thorough way so that adults don’t have to take their time explaining these things to students. My vision is that teachers will have copies of my e-book, photocopied and organized into chapters in their file cabinet, and that they will be able to just pull out the answers to student “why” questions and hand them out when needed.
This e-book is merely a sample of my work, and I hope that you enjoy it enough to download the “20 Questions” e-book when it becomes available on August 10th. In this free sample, I answer the three biggest questions that students ask….”Why do we have to go to school?”, “Why can’t we bring cell phones to school?”, and “Why does my teacher flip out when I show up late for class?” I also answer a question that you, the teacher or parent, might be asking…which is “Why do I have to explain why each rule exists?” You will notice that I don’t use charts, graphs, pictures, or fancy fonts to explain my points. This is because I want this information in a simple format that is easy to download, print, and copy for students to use. If you have any student “why” questions that you think should be included in my “20 Questions” e-book, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Why do teachers have to explain why each rule exists?
Why do we have to go to school?
Why can’t we bring cell phones to school?
Why can’t I be tardy to class?
Why do teachers have to explain why each rule exists?
Everyone remembers their time in school. For most, it was a time of innocence, learning, and fun. Some remember it as a painful time…filled with bullies, mean teachers, and not being part of the “cool” group. People’s attitudes towards school remain unchanged with the passage of time, and their painful memories cloud their perception of what goes on in schools today. This has led to the erosion of power wielded by educators, as parents have increasingly resisted the school’s attempts to make their student “conform” to the standards of behavior considered acceptable by our society in previous years. In this article, I list the reasons why we now have to explain to students why they have to follow specific rules.
* “Top-Down” Leadership Is A Thing Of The Past – In the “Good Ol’ Days” of business, employees complied with the rules of the office or factory, no questions asked. If a worker had the audacity to ask why a certain rule had to be followed, the boss would reply “Because I said so!” As time passed, workers formed unions, studies were done that showed workers were happier and more productive if they were allowed to provide input to their bosses as to how the company should be run. Pretty soon, “collaboration” became the order of the day. Nowadays, you would be hard pressed to find a company that uses a top-down leadership style.
* “Because I Said So” Isn’t Good Enough Anymore – The paradigm shift in the workplace trickled its way down into the educational sector. Remember the “Good Ol’ Days” of education? Students complied with the rules with no questions asked. If a student had the audacity to ask why a certain rule had to be followed, the teacher would reply “Because I said so!” Students had no backing from their parents in this situation, the parents had the attitude that the school was always right. One day, a movement was born that encouraged students to “Question Authority”, and fight for their rights. The originators of the movement were convinced that many in positions of authority are corrupt. Students were encouraged to not blindly follow their leaders…they were encouraged to question why decisions were being made a certain way. Parents (many of whom felt that they were treated unfairly during their school career) didn’t automatically support the school when the school tried to discipline their children. As a result, students became more and more emboldened to question why their school operated in a certain fashion….and they gradually demanded more and more of a say in their own education and disciplinary consequences.
*The default setting on kids’ “respect” meter is “no” – In the past, students automatically respected their teachers (and other adults in their lives). It would take a traumatic event for a student to ever lose respect for their teacher. The default setting for student respect was in the “on” position. In recent years, many students and their parents have come to the conclusion that students are not required to respect adults just because they are adults. Many students believe that an adult has to “earn” their respect before they give it. Not only do students not automatically respect the position of teacher, they do not respect police officers or other authority figures. The reasons for this troubling development are a mystery to me, but could have something to do with TV shows and movies that belittle people in authority. When have you seen a TV show or movie where the policeman, teacher, or principal is seen as the hero? Most shows portray these authority figures as evil, “uncool”, dishonest, or stupid. Another reason why adults are not respected could be because of the high divorce rate in this country. Kids see their parents fighting, splitting up, having a new “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”, or using childish tactics to hurt the other parent. Kids’ lives are littered with adults that make empty promises or empty threats, which makes it hard for students to view their parents as a positive role model, worthy of respect. This lack of respect for parents has led students to disrespect their teachers as well.
*There’s a Higher Percentage Of Compliance When You Explain “Why” – For some reason, explaining why the rule exists (and why it needs to be followed) has a magical effect on students. Maybe it is because the student has an “A-Ha!” moment when he sees the school’s point of view…maybe it is because the student respects the person enforcing the rule because the person has taken the time to explain why the rule exists. In any event, explaining rules to students results in a higher percentage of student compliance. Not only are more students compliant, they seem happier while complying because they know why the rule exists.
So why don’t we as educators explain “why” to students whenever they want to know the reason for a specific rule?
*Time – It takes too much time! You will find that the answers to students’ “Why?” questions are long and complicated. Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I wrote these answers for teachers not because I think that teachers do not know the answers…I know that you know! I wrote these answers to save you time. For you to answer every student’s question during the day, you would spend a huge chunk of time answering questions! Because you didn’t have access to this e-book until now, your answers were hurried….like “Look, I don’t make the rules…I just have to enforce them” or “You will have to follow stupid rules when you get a job, so school is just training you for that” or the always popular “Because I said so!”
*Focus – Answering every “why” question gets you (the Teacher) off task. You are not going to believe this, but some students ask “why” questions just to get the class off task! Using the answers in my e-books will keep students from hijacking your class and taking it to places you don’t want it to go!
*Aggravation – Trying to explain to a student who doesn’t “get it” is extremely frustrating. Save yourself the aggravation by giving the student a copy of the answer they are looking for, and ask them to bring clarification questions to you before school or after school the next day (after they have had a chance to read your answer).
*The student already knows the answer – Some students will ask questions they already know the answer to just to try to “get your goat”. Since answering the question is a painless procedure for you, the student doesn’t get the satisfaction of making you work. You simply pull the answer out of the folder, and slap it on his desk. Word will get around that you have all the answers, which will result in two outcomes: Students who really are curious to get answers will come to you for them…and students who want to be smart-alecky will NOT ask you questions. That’s what I call a “win-win” for you and your students.
How do you use the “Why” e-book?
*To save time – When a student asks you a “Why?” question, you simply tell the student “See me after class and I will explain why.” After class, you give the student a copy of the answer to their question (you could have folders in your file cabinet with answers to many of the questions students ask in a day, and you would just pull out a copy). How much time will this save you each day? Lots!
*To keep your class focused – When the student asks you a “Why?” question to get you off task, simply tell the student to meet you after class, and give him a copy of the answer. Or…you could just walk over to your file cabinet, pull out the folder with the answer, and give it to the student without missing a beat.
*To keep parents on your side – Sometimes, parents want to know why a rule exists. Sometimes it is because they want to challenge your authority and defend their child…sometimes it is because they want to be able to give their child the correct answer (and support YOU). Send the answers home with the student so that the parent can support you at home. The answers are in PDF or Microsoft Word format, so you could attach the answers to an email you send home. If you don’t know how to attach things to your email, just highlight the answer you want to send home, hit “copy”, then “paste” it in the email and hit “send”.
*As a disciplinary consequence – A student is sent to the In-School Suspension room for violating a specific rule (talking without permission during class, for example). While in ISS, the student could be required to copy the “Why?” answer for why it is inappropriate for students to talk without permission in class. The ISS teacher could also require the student to answer questions about the e-book answer, find vocabulary words to investigate, or perform other tasks related to the e-book. Here are some sample questions you could ask at the end of each “Why?” answer:
Which of the arguments for (insert school rule here) is the strongest?
Which of the arguments for (insert school rule here) is the weakest?
If you were trying to convince your friend to obey this rule, what would you tell him/her?
Does having the reasons for this rule explained to you make you more likely to obey the rule? Why or why not?
Did your parents have this rule when they were in school? If they didn’t, why do you think they didn’t?
Why do we have to go to school?
There are many reasons why we have to go to school. Unfortunately, most people do not take the time to explain the reasons to our nation’s young people. Even a search of the Internet for “Why do kids have to go to school” turns up the same, tired answers:
* “You have to go to school to learn, so that when you grow up you will be smart.”
* “You have to go to school to have a bright future.”
* “People who have more education make more money in their lifetime.”
Such weak answers for such an important question! Why hasn’t someone taken the time to REALLY explain why kids have to go to school? That’s the subject of this ebook. Today, I am going to give you plenty of reasons why you have to go to school. You may agree with some of the reasons, you may disagree with others…but the bottom line is that you will finally know why you are there!
*In the old days, education was only for the “rich” – One hundred years ago, most kids didn’t go to school. Only the children of rich people were allowed to go. Here’s the cycle that occurred: Rich people have children, children go to school and become smart, smart kids get to go to college, college graduate gets high-paying job, rich person has children and the cycle repeats itself. Poor people have children, children do not get to go to school…they instead are put to work at menial jobs like farmer, coal miner, street sweeper, etc. and make little money. Poor child grows up, gets married, has children who are not allowed to go to school, and the cycle repeats itself. Horace Mann (the “Father of American Education”) knew that the cycle of poverty could only be broken through the education of ALL students. Mann called education “The Great Equalizer” in the early 1800’s. His dream of education for all students did not become a reality until a hundred years after his death.
*School teaches you more than just how to read and write – The things you learn in school are too numerous to list in this little ebook. Here are a few skills you learn: sharing, getting along with others, time management skills, listening, focusing on a particular task, memorizing facts, working in a team to produce a product, problem solving, conflict resolution, accepting constructive criticism, accepting praise, setting and accomplishing goals, learning things that you don’t necessarily think are important at the time…but learning them anyway, and patience.
*You form friendships that will last for the rest of your life – Many of the friendships you make in school would not have happened unless you were forced to be there. At school, you encounter students from every socio-economic level, every race, every religion, and every political affiliation. You learn to get along with people who are different from you, and make friends with many of them. This skill is one that you will use for the rest of your life.
*Our economic and political system
depends on you being educated – The founding fathers of our country believed
that democracy would die if the citizens living in the
*Where would kids go when their parents are at work? – Let’s face facts here…most families have both parents working, and other families have only one parent (who is also at work). If there were no schools, where would the kids go during the day? Would we build giant amusement parks to entertain kids for eight hours a day until their parents came home from work? Would we build huge daycare centers that charge parents a dollar an hour to take care of their children? While we are “babysitting” everyone’s kids, don’t you think it is a good idea to educate them as well?
*You learn a little about everything so you can make a choice about what you want to do with your life – You are taught a little math, a little science, a little social studies, a little English, and so on. School does not make you an expert at any one thing, it gives you a shallow understanding about many different things. Taking classes in school is like test-driving a car…you try a lot of them until you find the one that is right for you. Sally takes biology class, and becomes really interested in animals. She decides that she wants to be a veterinarian. Joe enjoys his literature class, and decides to become a writer. Billy loves math, and makes plans to become an engineer or accountant when he grows up.
*You ARE aware of the kinds of jobs available to you if you don’t get an education….right? – Your career options are going to be SEVERELY limited if you do not get a quality education. Do you like lifting heavy objects? Do you like working with your hands…a lot? The less educated members of our society are given the least-desirable jobs available. Why does this occur? Because the students who worked hard will be able to find jobs that pay more money, involve less manual labor, and are less dangerous.
*Your education gives you the power to find another job when you want to – Most of the people who don’t want to go to school hate the fact that their teacher tells them what to do all the time. Guess what? When you get a job, your boss spends his entire day telling you what to do! If you do not get a good education, you will be lucky to find a good job….and you will be “stuck” there because the chances of finding another good job will be slim. How would you like to be in a situation where you are powerless to leave your job because you can’t find another one that pays as well…and you are stuck listening to your unreasonable boss for the rest of your life? Educated people can just look for another job, find one, then tell their boss to take a long walk off a short pier.
*A few years of hard work NOW saves you from a lifetime of hard work – Most people who hate school don’t want to work hard. How ironic is it that lazy students end up in jobs that require the most work? The students who work hard at school end up in jobs that don’t require heavy lifting, being in dangerous situations, or working long hours. Students who try to take “short cuts” during school end up spending their 30-year working career in back-breaking jobs that pay little money.
*Your parents want you to do well in school – Whether your parents are rich, poor, or middle class, they want you to do well in school. Why? Every parent wants their child to have a life that is better than their own, and every parent is old enough (and experienced enough) to know that a good education is the gateway to a better life.
*If you don’t get a good education, you will live to regret it – You may not regret your choice today, you may not regret your choice tomorrow or five years from now….but you WILL regret your decision to slack off during your school years. I have spoken with hundreds of former students who visit me from time to time. My successful former students never say “Gosh, I wish I hadn’t tried so hard in school…I really missed out on a lot.” They say, “Thanks for helping me do well in school, all the stuff I learned really prepared me to be successful.” Now, let’s look at what my unsuccessful students say when they come back to visit…they never say “I am so glad I had so much fun in school! I didn’t try hard, and didn’t learn much…but who cares!” What they ALWAYS say is “I wish I would have tried harder in school…my life is pretty messed up right now. I am trying to go back to school/get my GED so that I can get a job that pays better than minimum wage.” Let me repeat this so that you can understand its importance: You WILL regret your decision to not get a good education.
*Money is not the answer…education is – How many people do you know that play the lottery instead of concentrating on getting a good education? The lottery has been called “A tax on people who are bad at math”, and it’s true! The chances of winning a significant amount of money in the lottery is about the same as getting hit by lightning twice in one day. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that you won the lottery tomorrow, say $10 Million. A few years from now, you will be broke again. “No way!” you scream. Yes, way. Most people who win the lottery blow all of their money in a short period of time, or have their winnings stolen from them by scam artists, relatives, or other people who know more about how to handle money than they do. Professional athletes make millions of dollars in their careers as well, but what happens to many of them? They end up broke. People may be able to take your money, but they can never take away your high school diploma or college degree…it’s yours to use for the rest of your life.
*The “What About Albert Einstein?” Argument – People who decide to quit school have a list of people who did not graduate high school who ended up leading successful lives. They say “See! You don’t have to have an education to be successful!” The list includes Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Ray Charles, Cher, Peter Jennings, Whoopi Goldberg, Dave Thomas (Founder of Wendy’s) and Rosa Parks. Most of the people who quit school and were still successful in life were people in the entertainment industry, people who had a special talent, or inventors. Out of the millions of people who have dropped out of school, you would be hard-pressed to find 500 successful people among them. Your odds of winning the lottery are better!
*The “Recidivism Cycle” – People who do not get a good education frequently end up with less money than everyone else. The uneducated person looks around at all of their friends, friends who have cool cars, houses, cell phones, televisions, and other cool stuff and says “I deserve to have those things, too!” Since the uneducated person cannot earn the money to buy the cool stuff, he decides to obtain the finer things in life by engaging in illegal activity. Sooner or later, the person is caught, and is sent to prison. When the person gets out of prison, the person may have learned his lesson. He may want to be “straight”, and lead a normal, crime-free life. What happens next? The uneducated person now has a criminal record, so what chance does he have of getting a high-paying job? Zero. Sooner or later, the person returns to a life of crime to make ends meet, and gets caught again. While in jail, he decides that being in jail is just “easier” than trying to survive on the outside. The end. We do not want you to end up like that…that is why we keep encouraging you to give school your best shot!
*Your life will go on whether you get an education or not – You will fall in love, get married, maybe even have children. I say, congratulations! One problem: How are you going to complete your education when you have a child or two at home? You can’t afford to pay for a babysitter. How are you going to get a better education when you are working two jobs to pay the bills? Are you going to go at night? Night school costs money…money that you don’t have. You were given the opportunity to get an education FOR FREE, and you didn’t take the gift when it was given to you. What are you going to do now?
*Your high school diploma doesn’t prove that you know anything…and employers don’t care – Your high school diploma is a document that proves you will stick with it and accomplish a goal no matter what obstacles are in your way. Employers are looking to hire people who are able to do that. Quitting school and saying “I’ll just get my GED later” tells employers that you can’t be trusted to hang around during the tough times. Why would a company spend the money to train you if you have already proven that you can’t finish your high school career? Most companies won’t take a risk on you.
*No matter what you THINK you will do with your life, you will need a good education – Many of you are thinking to yourselves, “I don’t have to study…I’m going to play in the NBA/NFL/MLB.” Out of the millions of people playing sports in the world, there are only 1696 players in the NFL, only 750 players in Major League Baseball, and only 432 players in the NBA. You have less than a 1% chance of making it as a professional athlete. You need to make sure you have a “Plan B” in case your dream doesn’t come true. Guess how many failed professional athletes are broke right now? Answer: Lots. A good education is the ultimate Plan B.
*Many people believe that “fate” or “luck” determines who is successful – This is not true! Your hard work will make you successful.
*You don’t know what “perks” are, but you will like them – People with good educations get “perks” to sign up to work with certain companies. Perks are things like sick days (getting paid for working when you actually stayed home), company-paid medical, dental, and vision care for you and your family, two weeks or more of PAID vacation time, a retirement plan that pays you money after you quit working for the company, and much more! Some companies want to hire the best and smartest workers, so they don’t mind giving you a car, a cool office, a secretary, or other neat stuff. Let’s put it this way…you won’t get any of these perks while stocking shelves at the local grocery store. If you don’t show up for work, you don’t get paid. If you complain about your job, they fire you and bring in someone to take your place…someone who may even work for less money than you were earning.
*Think about your kids – Your kids deserve to live in a nice house, ride in a nice car that doesn’t break down, and go to a good school. If you don’t get a good education, the chances of these things happening for your kids is small. Do you really want to have to tell your kids that they can’t have the latest toy or video game because you can’t afford it? Do you really want your kids to be made fun of at school because they wear raggedy clothes? What you do NOW affects the rest of your life…and affects your kids’ lives as well. Don’t let them down!
Why can’t we have cell phones at school?
There are many reasons why we shouldn’t have cell phones/MP3 players at school.
*They disrupt class – Have you ever been somewhere, trying to concentrate, and someone’s cell phone makes noise? It is frustrating! Many students have problems keeping focused on their work, and outside noise makes it even more difficult. Students with MP3 players are also a problem, as they listen to their music at such a high volume it is possible to hear it from several feet away.
*They are lost or stolen – Do you have any idea how many hours are spent every day by administrators trying to find lost or stolen cell phones? Adolescent students have a tendency to leave things lying around, and this includes their phone. Students who cannot afford the latest and greatest gadget have no problem picking these items up and putting them in their backpack. What makes matters worse are the angry parents (who no doubt paid large amounts of money for the gadget) understandably calling the school every half hour for “updates” on the status of their student’s phone. Administrators become frustrated because their purpose is to help teachers present great lessons, keep a safe environment for students, and allocate district resources fairly…not solve the “mystery of the missing cell phone” numerous times per day!
*They can be used to cheat on tests/assignments – There are a variety of ways that cell phones are used to cheat on tests and assignments. The student in 1st Period can take pictures of the test, and send the pictures to their friend who has the same test in 4th Period. The “smart” kid can text answers to others during the test, or students can text a friend who may be home “sick” (who’s at home with the textbook) to ask the answers to test questions. It is entirely possible for a student with an internet-capable phone to look up answers to questions during the test. There are so many possibilities for the gadget to be used to gain an unfair advantage!
*They can be used inappropriately – The internet that flows through students’ cell phones is “unfiltered”, which means that the school doesn’t have the ability to block certain inappropriate websites. Students can visit pornographic websites, take inappropriate pictures of themselves (and others) and post them on a variety of websites, or video embarrassing moments suffered by the “dorky” kid or the teacher that everyone dislikes, and post them on YouTube.
*They can be used to spread rumors and gossip – In the old days, gossip and rumors were spread about teachers and other students by word of mouth. Today, gossip and rumors can be transmitted to hundreds of other people at the push of a button. Who “likes” who, who is going to fight by the bike rack after school, who said something bad about somebody’s mom….is all transmitted at the speed of light in the blink of an eye. Students are “cyberbullied”, nasty stuff is posted on Facebook and MySpace about them, fights are instigated, then videotaped and posted on YouTube within minutes. None of this is good for your school’s climate.
*There are too many ways these devices can be used to disrupt school – There are ways to disrupt school using these devices that haven’t even been thought of yet! Instead of teachers and administrators trying to keep up with all of this new technology, it is just easier to ban it.
Why can’t I be tardy?
Jeff (one of my students) asked me a question the other day: “Why does my teacher flip out when I show up a couple of minutes late for class? I mean, really….I was just using the bathroom!” Here are some reasons why teachers frown on you for being tardy:
*It is disrespectful – Being late (not only in school, but in life) is disrespectful to the people who were on time to the event. Being late tells people that you do not value their time, because you couldn’t show up when everyone else did. People lead busy lives, and they took time out of their day to be at the event when they were supposed to be there…you could not. In school, your tardiness tells the teacher that you do not think her/his class is important enough to show up on time.
*It is disruptive – Studies have found that a class can take as many as 15 minutes to refocus once it has been disrupted. This is the reason why administrators try to limit the number of announcements and other interruptions during the school day. When you walk in the room, everyone in the class has to look up and see who is entering the room…it is just human nature. If you are walking by several other classrooms with open doors on your way to class after the bell, every student in every one of those classes looks to see who is walking by as well, disrupting hundreds of students.
*We are preparing you for the world of work – I know what you are saying…“School is NOT my job! I do not get paid! When I get a job that pays money, THEN I will be on time.” Unfortunately, the habits you establish in school will carry over into your career.
*It is frustrating for the teacher – The first few times you are tardy for a particular class, the teacher probably will not say anything to you. However, every tardy uses up “goodwill” that you have built up with the teacher. If you participate in class, are respectful, and not disruptive…you will have a lot of goodwill in the bank to work with. Disruptive/disrespectful students, students who don’t turn in their homework, or don’t bring their materials…you don’t have a lot of goodwill to spare.
*It is a safety issue – When you are at school, your parents assume (and expect) that we know where you are every minute of the school day. Therefore, when we don’t know where you are, we as educators get upset. Where are you? Are you in the bathroom? Are you at the nurse? Have you been beaten up and are bleeding in a dumpster behind the school (true story)….did you leave school grounds and walk somewhere? Have you been kidnapped? We don’t know, and that makes us look like we don’t know what is going on. When I was a five years old, I became separated from my mom in the grocery store. I looked all over the place for her, and she frantically looked all over the store for me. When she finally found me, she hugged me…then gave me a swat on the bottom! She was relieved that nothing bad had happened to me, but she was mad that I wandered away. That’s kind of how your teacher feels when you are missing, then show up late. They are happy you are O.K., but disappointed that you were at the vending machine buying a cinnamon roll instead of taking care of your school business.
*It undermines your credibility – If you are tardy frequently (with a wide assortment of excuses), chances are your teachers will start to question your word. There are only so many times you can use “bathroom emergency” or “female problems” before your teachers start to think you stretch the truth. This lack of credibility can transfer over to your excuses about why you didn’t get your assignment done on time (the dog ate it?), or why you don’t have your materials (someone stole your backpack?) Once you lose your teacher’s trust, you may never get it back.
Why can’t I wear my hoodie at school?
Some people have seen on the news that several school districts have prohibited the wearing of hooded sweatshirts (hoodies) on school grounds. Most people’s reaction to this news is “Are you kidding me? Why would schools make up a stupid rule like that?” There are many reasons why you cannot wear your hoodie at school. Some of them have to do with campus safety, some are designed to keep students from concealing their activities. This article will list the reasons for prohibiting hoodies at school:
*Hoodies can be used to conceal the identity of students when they engage in inappropriate or illegal behavior – When students behave inappropriately, it is important for teachers or administrators to identify the offending students, and teach appropriate behavior through the use of correction. When students wear hoodies, they sometimes wear their hoodie over their head so that teachers/administrators cannot tell who is doing the inappropriate behavior. Even the use of security cameras falls short when students conceal their identity in this fashion. Students sometimes hide their faces as they walk past security cameras to “skip” class. Parents show up to pick up their student, and their student is missing…and we as administrators do not know where their child is. This makes for a dangerous (and embarrassing) situation for the school.
*Hoodies can be used to conceal illegal behavior in the classroom – Many students use their hoodie to text their friends. For example, a female student I know can look at the teacher as her hands are in the front pocket of her hoodie, texting away without even looking at her phone. Other students put their MP3 player in their pants pocket, thread their headphone wires up through the back of their hoodie, then put their earbuds in their ears as they wear their hood over their head.
*Hoodies can be disruptive to the learning environment – How many times have you seen a student wearing a hoodie…minding his own business, when his friend sneaks up behind him and “hoods” him? The friend just can’t help himself…he just HAS to pull the hood up over his friend’s head!! Of course, the student wearing the hoodie has to chase his friend and “get him back” for doing that to him. To many people, this is just harmless play. To educators, it is a recipe for disaster. “Play” usually leads to “injury”, and play in the classroom leads to class disruption and a barrier to learning. Also, the hood seems to be a magnet for all sorts of things during the school day – crumpled up pieces of paper, pens/pencils, gum, half-eaten food during lunch, and many other objects put there by friends who want to “joke” with the student wearing the hoodie.
*Another safety issue with hoodies is the use of them to conceal students’ arms who are “cutting” themselves. Students who cut themselves usually do not want their cuts to be seen by adults, so they often wear a hoodie with long sleeves (or maybe a wristband) to keep their cutting a secret. It is important for adults to be able to see students’ arms, hopefully discover the cutting problem, and get the student the help he/she needs.
As you can see, there are several good reasons why hoodies are prohibited at school. We do not make rules just to “kill your fun”, but rules are in place to maintain a safe and orderly school environment.
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