by BRIDGET BUTLER – SULLIVAN
You are not going to persuade me into agreeing with assigned saturday schools, just as the same can be said for most-all of the student body, if not teachers as well. Apart from those truly deserving of punishment (whose opinions will inflict no change), due to neglecting respect for teachers, those pertaining to the group named “habitual truants,” and the failing members of the student body, Saturday School attendees consist of those being punished for what they deem neither fair nor reasonable. And so the classes, complete with students bitter over their forcible assignment, and teachers falling under nearly the same category, are teaching not patience, not respect, not acceptance, but a deep resentment for the system that is taking away the beginning of their most cherished day of the week. But the real catch 22 of the matter is not that Saturday School is often named unfair. As every cliche will prove, a lot of things in life aren’t fair. If what the Saturday School system is truly meant to do is chastise and/or punish, then should the time not be spent actively doing so? We waste entirely too much much time in the education system to begin with. You want to create a better campus, complete with students who actually maintain concern for their lives on school property? Have those being punished actually do something productive. What a thought. No matter how much we would love to deny it, the staff at this school have power over the student body. So actually use that power to benefit both parties. Stop limiting Saturday school activities to drone-like work. Sitting quietly for four hours will not teach students a lesson. I promise. It will simply breed bitterness. You want change? Then make it happen. Saturday School should entail labour. It should consist of cleaning our campus, scanning papers, making copies, setting the clocks to their accurate times. Just have us do something productive. Anything, really. Wasting students’ time, just as wasting teachers’ time, does nothing for us. Vice versa for the rest of our staff. We have here an opportunity to actually benefit our campus. All it essentially entails is swapping absent mindedness with labour. Period.