Posts Tagged ‘ student ’

Pulitzer Center announces Project: Report 2 for aspiring journalists

The Pulitzer Center, in partnership with YouTube and made possible by Sony and Intel, announces Project: Report for a second time.

The contest, which requires amateur journalists to submit a video of less than four minutes that addresses a local issue with a global impact, starts February 1 and all videos must be submitted by February 28.

There will be five winners in total, each receiving $10,000 in prize money that will allow them to travel to report on a global story.

I encourage all student journalists to participate in this contest. You have the chance to tell a story, take this opportunity with great responsibility and courage.

Principal bans students at Danvers High in Massachusetts from “meep”

beaker-oh-shitGood ol’ high school students; they are forever bucking the system.

The principal of Danvers High School in Massachusetts recently banned students from any utterance or display of the word “meep” on school grounds. “Meep,” according to students, is a reference to Beaker, a character on the Muppet Show.

I cannot help but swell with pride as I read the reports of this meep debacle. As a recent high school graduate, I sympathize with those who are still caged in by arbitrary rules that senselessly limit high schoolers.

I graduated in 2009 and have been through my fair share of struggles with the school administration. It seemed to me that the school officials at Cocoa Beach High School were nothing more than droids taking orders, only capable of spitting out answers straight from “The Handbook.” An example: A friend of mine once wrapped clear tape around his mid-section at lunch and was immediately told to remove it by a dean.
The administrator didn’t tell my friend precisely why the tape was a problem, only repeating in a monotone, “it’s a distraction.”

The friend didn’t remove the tape and was escorted by the school’s resource officer to the Dean’s Office. The whole way he tried to have a real conversation with the officer to try and find out why the tape was so distracting. The only response he could get out of anybody was “it’s a distraction.”

I understand that there are necessary precautions that a school must take to limit the potential hazards that students may pose to one another and to the administration. However, I do not think it necessary to abuse power and make arbitrary rules. “It is distracting” can be used as an excuse for any rule. Schools can ban students from wearing bright colored clothing because “it’s distracting.” Principals everywhere can place a ban on hot men, and hot men would not be allowed to attend school because “they are distracting.”
Implementing a series of arbitrary rules for the sake of ensuring control is called power-tripping.

I have also had to directly battle with the school administration myself. I was told in the ninth grade that my eyebrow ring, (which you could hardly ever see anyway because my hair covered it) was distracting and I had to remove it. I refused and explained why. The piercing held meaning for me and I explained to the dean as to why. I tried having a real discussion with him, saying that I had a 3.5 GPA all year, I never had discipline problems, I didn’t interrupt class, so how could a small piece of metal distract me or any other students?

I was suspended and told I couldn’t come back to school unless I took it out. I returned after my ridiculous suspension with a bright green band-aid over my eyebrow. I had written “Fight oppression” across the band-aid. Most of my clashes with the system were enraging; I could not grasp the sheer mindlessness of taking out an eyebrow ring/removing tape/not saying meep because none of these things were hazardous or detrimental to learning.

Because of this “meep” incident, I have been reminded what it is like to face a high school administration. You are basically made to feel like you’re small and insignificant, and that what you’re doing is merely for attention. This seems counterproductive of a school; suppressing speech and creative idea.

And so, I would like to stress to students everywhere that you are not powerless. You have rights, and they are not shed at the school house gate. Find your own answers and figure out who you are because that is what high school is about. It is about rousing the drones from their slumber and knocking some sense into the sheeple that have become the school bureaucracy. I applaud the students at Danvers High School for putting the pressure on the administration and for seeing the frivolity of the ban.

For some reason it has always been ingrained in me to stand up for myself and to question everything. Question everything because open debate is an essential part of democracy and key to becoming an intelligent person. I am glad these students have caused a bit of a ruckus; it is sorely needed, if for not more than to show how ridiculous and oppressive people can be towards other people.

Continue to stick it to “the man.”