Let’s face it: at one time all of us challenged the school rules a bit. But that doesn’t mean that we believe they should be thrown out. It’s part of being a kid to challenge the status quo, ask teachers and administrators why they are there, and resent them a little bit. However, just like in society, the classroom rules for middle school, as well as high school class rules, and all school rules for kids are there for a purpose.
School Rules Protect You From Yourself
One of the ways that rules help you is that they protect you from yourself. We have all been a child at one time. The feeling of total freedom and invincibility is like no other and we all sometimes wish we could recapture it as adults. But as adults, we realize why the rules were there in the first place. We may not have realized it then though, so this is for those who are still kids or who deal with the list of school rules on a daily basis. Rules protect you from yourself in that, it’s sometimes hard to see what the best move is regarding various situations you encounter. You may think you know what you should do, but experience is required on many issues you face in school and in life and you’re just too young to have had those experiences yet. So rules are there to help you choose more wisely.
Example: Let’s say you decide to break one of the high school volleyball rules, such as not horse-playing around when you are supposed to be focused on the game. It might be okay for awhile. It’s possible that nothing would happen. Yet, it’s also possible that you’ll get hit in the nose by a volleyball rendering you injured for the rest of the game. This is why the rules are in place-to protect you from yourself so that you will not get hurt due to your own negligence or distraction.
Many rules come about as a result of former injury or problems. Sometimes it takes an injury or an issue to bring to light the problems involved which require new regulations. This is one idea that many young people miss when discussing rules. They feel that rules are somehow meant just to make their lives miserable, cause them some undue pressure or obstacle, or get them in trouble. They need to realize that rules such as middle school rules, high school rules, or even high school football rules are in place due to some problem or injury someone has suffered in the past and the intent is to avoid it in the future.
In addition to having rules protect you from yourself, rules also protect you from others. High school classroom rules are there to establish a silent agreement between yourself, the teacher, and others in the class, which set boundaries of behavior that others are expected to follow. If these guidelines are not established, others will do whatever they want, and this is not always the right thing.
Sometimes people will do the right thing even if the rules do not exist, but what about those times when they don’t?
School Rules Protect You From Rule-Breakers
When people choose not to “do the right thing,” and there are no rules to establish “right and wrong,” who is to say what is okay and what is not? Nothing. No one.
And the result is chaos. We in America like to believe that we live in a totally free society. But many world-renowned writers said it a long time ago, that no society can be totally and completely free. Therefore some rules in school are put in place to protect you from those who would take advantage of a system where there were no consequences. So what you believe are stupid school rules are all that stands between you and someone taking advantage of you.
In-School Suspension Rules
When it comes to in-school suspension rules, many are not happy with this as well. They feel that they are already being punished enough by being places in in-school suspension, so why make the situation more unpleasant by putting more rules on them? The main reason for this is that in school suspension rules protect you from those who are in such detainment due to a violent act or misbehavior. For instance, if you got the suspension due to missed homework, but someone else got it because they assaulted someone and injured them, wouldn’t you rather know that there are rules which will attempt to control their behavior when put into the same context with you? In addition, it reminds everyone in in school suspension of a highly disciplinary environment (similar to jail) or an institution-based facility, so that they will not want to repeat the infraction and hopefully, learn from it.
Not All Bullies Are On The Playground
In one of my previous posts many months ago, I mentioned the fact that ‘not all bullies are on the playground.’ There are difficult people in the world too, including in the work place. And, just as there are elementary school rules, school bus rules, middle school classroom rules, classroom rules for high school, and general rules for school in every context, there are also rules in the real world. Just as there are high school basketball rules, there are rules ‘of the game’ in life as well.
You don’t harass or stalk people without consequences. You don’t hit or abuse people. You don’t discriminate against others in the workplace, just as you do not in school without some penalty or punishment. There is no free society without the integration of rules and without rules and laws, you would be afraid to leave your house at night–or any time!
Schools Are A Preparation Ground For Life
Schools are strict, indeed. But they are also a practice ground for life. If you cannot learn to conform to at least some rules and regulations in the school environment, how can you be expected to adjust and comply to the rules society has in place.
And just as in school, rules, laws, and policies are there to protect you and others in the workplace, as they are in the real world.
With time you will see that rules and laws are for YOU…not for someone else. They are not there to restrain you. They are there to protect you, from yourself, from others, from bullies, and from being victimized.
But the rules you see in school (and in life) are only as good as the ones who enforce them. If you believe a rule is unfair, or that someone is taking advantage of a rule, talk to someone about it. Remember that we still live in a democracy and that applies to school too. You, as young people, have the right to express your views to those in charge, as long as you bring your grievances in an orderly and non-aggressive fashion.
School Rules and Applications To Bullying
When it comes to bullying, rules are important, to keep the bully at bay and to enforce punishment in the event they insist on using unacceptable aggression and harassment to bother or entice others. Bullies know that bullying is against the rules and they do so with a risk. If you are bullied by someone, remind them that what they are doing is bullying and that you will report it. This calls their hand on what they are doing and threatens them with a possible consequence. Some bullies will back down when reminded of this rule, if they believe you really will do something. Bullies are generally looking for someone who is not going to report them, so they may move onto easier prey.
Finally, try to observe bullying whenever it occurs and report it, even in cases of when you are not directly involved. By taking a stand school wide against the bullying problem, it can be decreased a great deal and can help kids form a bond that will last a lifetime.
So the next time you think about stupid school rules, the classroom rules for high school, or a long list of school rules, think of them as your constitution within school that protect you and others from those who ignore the rules, even when they know they are there to protect people.
Rules are not for those who do the right thing. They are for those who would NOT do the right thing if it weren’t for the rules. Finally, if you don’t like the rules, change them. Form a student coalition or get involved in student government associations to record your protest of specific rules or laws.
After all the rules are there for you. So you have a voice in them.
Exercise your democratic right to vote starting in school. But remember and consider carefully why the rules are there before you push to throw out something which just might keep you safe.