We’ve all gotten away with something one time and thought we were above the law. Whether it was taking an extra cookie, driving above the speed limit, or getting into an R-rated movie, getting away with forbidden behavior makes you feel entitled to do it again. This is the case with certain students at Black River Falls High School, and it takes the shape of harassment, disrespect to teachers or other students, and light punishments for heavy crimes.

Many forms of harassment take place in the ‘real world’, but many people fail to realize where these tendencies stem from. If we as a society want our future to be rid of harrassment, we need to start taking a proactive approach. That starts right here, in our high schools. Female students are continuously harassed and objectified in the school, and are called demeaning and belittling names on the daily by their male counterparts.
This conflict isn’t happening behind closed doors: it’s happening in classrooms, hallways and lunch rooms. It’s happening in front of other students and in front of silent staff members. However, rarely is this type of language used in front of coaches. That’s not to say that all staff members let that kind of behavior fly under the radar, but in reality, it’s easier to ignore it.

At first you hear the swearing, then you look up to see phones being unlocked and balls of paper being thrown across the room. Looking around and seeing a staff member interact with these students while they get away with that kind of behavior is disheartening. The fact that charisma plays a role in how the rules are enforced should be a concern to the administration, and definitely plays a part in creating the atmosphere and culture here at Black River Falls High School. Consistent enforcement of the rules is imperative to ensure that the student body has equal opportunities.

Favoritism, although obvious to other students, can be hidden by justifications. It’s not necessarily something that’s occurring with the intent of creating a class system within the classroom, but it can be developed subconsciously. However, giving charismatic and athletic students special treatment takes opportunity away from whatever amount of students that otherwise could’ve been positively impacted.

Students, it’s time to bring this issue to the forefront. It’s our job to hold each other responsible and create the most positive and equal environment possible. Teachers, we’re tired of watching our fellow students take cookie after cookie. Let’s start holding students accountable for their actions no matter what they’re involved in.