Some time ago I shared my thoughts and feelings in response to a blog post about a teenage girl, verbally insulting her teacher in the classroom. This footage was filmed on someone’s cell phone or portable camera and published on youtube.
The young girl was scolding her teacher and accusing him of not doing his job . This was going on while her classmates were busy laughing at the one sided show down. The clip is about three minutes long and you never get to hear the teacher’s side of the story.
The author of the post, aligned himself or herself with the young girl and suggested that there be an occupy the schools movement spearheaded by parents. As far as I know the occupy movement was not successful, please don’t get me wrong, I agree with their cause but their methodology left much to be desired.
I disagree with the author, unfortunately I believe that the young girl has been misguided into adopting an attitude of entitlement, which only creates more obstacles for her.
These are my thoughts.
People who are disadvantaged need tools, so let’s pretend for a moment that her accusations were accurate, then what? Will that be her approach to life when things are not going her way? If anyone remembers their experiences in high school, particularly if you received public funded education, there were quite a number of teachers whose teachings were below standards. So assuming that this young girl is right, and this teacher isn’t the only “bad” teacher in the school, are other teachers headed for the same fate? (A public diss, published on youtube.)
What happens if she decides that she is going to be college bound? If I recall, an essential part of the application process required that you get about three to five referrals from key subject teachers. In two years (my guess) if she decides to apply to college, how many teachers would willfully write her a letter of recommendation? What about grades? Are we going to pretend that some teachers don’t grade based on favoritism? (Yes, unfortunately some adults hold grudges.)
Adults who reach out to disenfranchised youth and routinely tell them about their “rights” and what they are entitled to are doing them a great disservice. Children already know their rights, which will be their right to life. Everything else is a blessing.
Encouraging kids to throw tantrums when things don’t go their way, is like a special type of relationship disorder that occurs in some dysfunctional relationships, particularly between a mentor and a mentee. I think I will call it proxy aggression. Where a mentor instills or encourages an aggressive behavior in a mentee, that they would not dare demonstrate in their own life. I wonder how many of the adults who were supportive of this young girl’s rantings would dare pull such a behavior in their work place? God only knows that there are plenty of us who have felt unfairly treated in the workplace.
Unless she has parents, (an author on the site claimed she had no parents- I really don’t know) who are loaded, a bad temper is only going to create more distance between herself and her dreams.
She needs allies , people who will show her the ropes- no strings attached. She needs to be stronger, (throwing a tantrum is really a sign of emotional immaturity). She needs to learn how to acknowledge her difficult feelings while using tact to assertively advocate for herself. She needs to learn forgiveness, she needs to see herself as a survivor of any type of type of trauma she may have experienced, and begin the process of liberating herself from her feelings of hurt and pain related to trauma. She needs to see herself, not as a victim so owed, but as an empowered human being in the position to contribute to the community around her.
When we gather together and demand to be taken care of by the powers that be, we invite more abuse into our lives. The same is true, if not worse, when we teach our children that they are so owed, and they are to be taken care off.
Ugo is a psychotherapist and owner of Road 2 Resolutions, a professional private practice located in Tucson AZ.