I, myself, am a high school student and am therefore drawn to inform you about my opinions. Consistent and firm discipline will not make any difference.
It is interesting how we are constantly bombarded with contradicting images. On television, in magazines, and even from people, we are told to be ourselves and to embrace independence. Yet, when we are at school, we are expected to all be the same quite, studious, compassionate Bills and Nancys. Not that there is not anything wrong with being quite, studious, and compassionate, just that it contradicts what everyone else says, to be independent. Harsh rules will only achieve a greater amount of resentment toward faculty. Just like a caged bird still sings, high school students trapped by discipline and rules will continue to find ways to beat the system and be themselves. The recognition of unjustness and the will to rebel against it is one that we are all born with. I remember back in fifth grade one of the teachers began to enforce a no standing during lunch rule. We were outraged and subsequently began to form a petition with everyone’s signature on it. Even back in fifth grade where all we wanted to do was roll in grassy fields and swim through crisp rivers, we were able to recognize unfairness and rebel. And we were only fifth graders. Now imagine us as high schoolers, equipped with the knowledge which our teachers instilled on us. Discipline therefore is ironic because by enforcing it, you end up encouraging rebellion.
Looking at my own experiences, I can see why I have an urge to rebel against the rules. The rules seem set in stone and not understanding. High school treats us all as the same person, and therefore gives us all the same punishments. What they fail to see is that we are all different people with different lives. Our personal life may sometimes push us over the edge and illicit a reaction regardless of any rules there are. Am I saying that there should be no disciplinary actions at all? God no, but the punishments should be different. They must seek the reason for the action before issuing a punishment. For example, if somebody punched another person, generally there is immediately punishment for the aggressor, maybe detention or suspension. But they fail to understand why. What if the victim, shall we say, was spreading rumors about the aggressor, or what if the victim had hurt one of the aggressors close friends? The act of punching becomes more and more justified, and thus maybe suspension or detention become a bit too much. As you can see firm and consistent discipline will lead to failings and loopholes in the high school penal system. These failings and loopholes do indeed impact my life, and the lives of many other teenagers. High school is not the strict ruler-whacking student-beating institution it once was, but the why make the penal system resemble a leftover of that distant time?