Respect in high school needs to be more obvious

Addie Conway
Opinion Columist

Statesmen: “A respected leader in national or international affairs.” Respect: “A feeling or attitude of admiration and deference toward somebody or something.”

Statesmen (and women) is our school mascot, respect being a part of being apart school expectations but latetly, there seems to be no respect in our school.
At Webster we are all different. We wear different clothes, hang out with different people, do different things in and out of school, yet we are all joined in one thing: we all go to Webster Groves High School.
Recently though, I’ve noticed at assemblies, in the hallways, during sporting events, and sometimes, even during class, people give one another attitudes or make fun of each other, and even if it is all in good fun, sometimes things like that can really hurt. In other words, I’ve noticed the level of respect has gone way down.

For instance, when someone gets up to make a presentation and maybe stumble over his or her words because, let’s face it, who really likes getting up in front of everyone to talk, some people might laugh at that person, or make fun of that person. I don’t know about you, but that really hurts my feelings when people do that to me, considering how the people doing it are going to have to do the same thing as I am.

I’ve always thought of Webster as having class and at the very least, we are in fact, classier than Kirkwood. Most of the time I love going to games or assemblies because I love hearing all of the support Webster students give other Webster students. Therefore whenever something happens like people, whether it is the other team or one of our own teams, getting made fun of either during the event or after, I’m honestly appalled.

This isn’t the only thing I’ve noticed though. I’ve also noticed how students take food and instead of bringing it to the trash can or eating the rest of it, they throw it on the ground, for other students to step on and the janitors to clean up.

As a heads-up, we are the district’s oldest students, and in the case you weren’t aware, younger students really do look up to us, and if the example that we’re giving them, is making fun of our fellow students or trashing our school, then who’s to say that’s not going to end up happening at Hixson, Steger or any of the elementary schools?

I’ve watched all of this happen for the past few months, and I hate to say it, but the behavior isn’t getting any better; in fact, it’s gotten worse. Still, I’ll admit, it’s not like I’m anywhere near perfect. I’ve noticed myself exhibiting some of these behaviors too. Maybe it has something to do with winter or just growing too lazy but either way, I’m tired of walking on food someone else has eaten or seeing someone’s face when their fellow students have made fun of him or her for doing something that person does, in fact, like to do. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it. It’s hard but in the end it pays off. Webster Groves has a reputation for turning out kind, polite and generous students, and while I see that every day, I also see examples like the ones I listed above, and it’s not cool, Webster.We all do different things: sports, act, art, comic books, play video games and volunteer. You name it and someone at Webster does it. New ideas for clubs or sports are constantly coming up in people’s minds; for instance, the step club or a club against bullying. Just because someone likes to do something or be someone that you don’t necessarily agree with or care about, does not mean you have the right to laugh or make fun of them, while they are trying to do it, nor does it give you the right to treat the place you go to school like its trash.

In the words of Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me, R-E-S-P-E-C-T take care…TCB. Respect.” It may be just a word but we are all Statesmen and women, so therefore we all deserve it: teachers, administrators, janitors and fellow students. It may sound silly and stupid to you, but giving and getting respect is something that not only could make your day…but also someone else’s.

Therefore, next time someone gives a presentation in one of your classes, don’t laugh at them. Next time someone gives a performance, don’t point and make fun of them. When the other team lines up to take a foul shot, don’t boo or talk trash to them, even if they do the same to you. Show the world that you are a Webster student by showing everyone you are classy and respectful. In other words, show them that you a true Webster Groves Statesman or Stateswoman.

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