Although Andrew Russell beat me to the punch, I decided to submit my letter in refutation to March 18’s letter “Freshman decries loss of rights,” which is why you’re reading this right now.
Much like Andrew, many of my peers at Fayette County High School and I were bothered to see such a horrid display of self-control from the MHS freshman, in the form of her bumbling letter defaming McIntosh High’s policy on technology use (a county-wide policy, in this case more specifically directed towards phones).
While I hate to beat a dead horse, there are several items brought up in the original letter (“Freshman decries loss of rights”) which I feel must be addressed.
The first of these must question the intention of the letter that started this debacle in the first place. Obviously, the writer was deeply disturbed by her assignment of ISS for three days. Perhaps she intended to incite the public to her defense, to storm the gates of MHS, tear down the walls, throw out the current administration, and reinstate an administration who not only allows unrestricted use of cell phones, but also enacts punishment upon those teachers who would DARE to rob students not only of their constitutional rights, but of their basic human rights. Or, perhaps she merely wanted to draw public attention to the fact that she has simply been deprived of the aforementioned rights.
Unless the intention of her letter was simply to inform the entire county that she received ISS for insubordination, our dear unnamed freshman failed miserably in her undertaking. Indeed, judging by the various responses on The Citizen’s web-print version of the letter, as well of those from my own peers both at FCHS and MHS (I can not speak for students from the other schools in the county, although I highly doubt they sympathize with her), the overwhelming response the letter elicited was that of distaste.
The American Constitution guarantees no rights regarding the ownership of communication devices (this is even taking the elastic clause into consideration).
Not only are your constitutional rights not violated, but even more shocking, your basic human rights ALSO remain unscathed. There are Thirty Articles in the United Nation’s “Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” too many to cover in this letter. I assure you, however, none of them have been violated in any way.
You state that “A staff member I [you] didn’t recognize,” came up to you and asked for your phones. You then proceed to spout one of the most idiotic statements I have ever heard: “How was I to know she was a teacher?” The first clue, dear freshman, was the fact that she was an adult in a school building.
The best way to get through high school (and life, I think you’ll find) is to attempt to be polite, try your hardest to follow the rules, and to think before you speak.
If you had been polite (although you claim to have been, I am somewhat skeptical) and handed your phone over when asked, you would not have sat through ISS.
Furthermore, simply going to an administrator, explaining the situation and requesting they get your phone back for you may have resulted with your phone safely in your possession and you skipping from class to class, not a care in the world (or sloughing grumpily, as you may have found something to ruin your day anyways).
That course of action would have resulted with you following all the guidelines set by the school system. Instead, you chose to be the hero, to stick it to the Man and fight the system.
Look where your rebellion got you. Three days of ISS, and public ridicule. Don’t think for a second that many people took your letter seriously. While some malcontents may have lauded you, the vast majority found it ridiculous. Your peers, such as Andrew and myself, are included in this number.
It will do you well to remember your place in the world. Stands do need to be made, but at the proper place, time, and when you may actually be in the right. You were wrong on all three counts.
I wish you, and all the class of 2017 a successful high school career. Perhaps you’ll listen to at least one thing I said. I assure you, it will keep you out of ISS.
Max Anderson (age 18)