Disrespect on the Rise

Students being disrespectful to teachers and parents has been more prominent recently.

Abbi Richter, Staff Writer

Student respect has been on the decline since 2016. Respect has dropped from 71% to 31% in schools. What makes students act this way? Some students say “it’s just common sense to be respectful.” But why is it happening more often nowadays? Paraeducator Mallory Kirchoff said, “It has gotten worse since I’ve been in school.” “The amount of disrespect I hear towards teachers astonishes me,” senior Kenzie Hoffman said. 

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I wish students would realize it’s inappropriate and embarrassing for themselves to not hold their teachers to a higher standard.

— Kenzie Hoffman

How do AHS staff deal with disrespectful students? “If a student uses derogatory language, they usually get sent to the office with a referral, if it is the first offense,” Kirchhoff said. 

According to the student handbook, detention is the usual punishment when a student is disrespectful. The school employee will send the student to the principal’s office with a referral.  Classroom educators may assign the student detention prior to removal from the class. The school employee and student will file an incident report in the office. A conference will be held with the student, teacher, and administrator if deemed necessary. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken which could be an in-school suspension or detention.  Parents will be notified.

If disrespect continues the consequences increase.  “A conference will be arranged with the student, teacher, parent, counselor, and administrator.  The severity of the infraction will determine the amount of after-school detention, in-school suspension, or out-of-school suspension.  Habitual offenders will be referred to the superintendent and/or the Board of Education for disciplinary action,” according to the handbook. Math teacher Sheila Hayden said her students are respectful in her classroom, but she hears impoliteness in the halls.

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I hear it in the hallways a lot, but I don’t have that many troubles in my classroom, but I do hear them maybe with the paraeducators more often than the teachers.

— Sheila Hayden

Principal Heather McKay gives some points on how to be more respectful that would include caring for the facilities (pushing in chairs, picking up trash/making sure to throw trash away, avoiding writing on desks, etc,) saying please and thank you, actively listening to others, holding doors open for each other, greet one another in friendly ways (Joe’s “I love your face,” hellos, how are yous, etc,) volunteer to help one another, use of appropriate language and tone.

Senior Kenzie Hoffman said, “The disrespect I hear is talking back. [Students] don’t want to follow directions and they don’t want to do the assignments…I wish students would realize it’s inappropriate and embarrassing for themselves to not hold their teachers to a higher standard.” 

But what can teachers do to help keep their students in line? According to “schools reach out,” letting all your students know that you respect and care about them, acknowledging students who demonstrate kindness, respect, and thoughtfulness, using positive approaches when educating students about acceptable and unacceptable behaviors, working with students to develop their classroom expectations, providing learning opportunities that encourage cooperation, cohesion, and compassion among students, and more.