Students are too old to use hateful terms

Students feel intimidated by the hateful terms used within the building.

Students feel intimidated by the hateful terms used within the building.

I know from personal experience that anyone who had Mrs. Venerable in sixth grade received a long lecture on our first day of junior high about the problem with the phrases “that’s retarded” and “that’s gay.” Even when we were 11 years old, we understood the offensiveness of these terms.

However, it seems that once we hit 15, we’re back to our old ways. For a group of people growing up in such progressive and understanding times, we publicly spew off these hateful terms to demean one another and other groups, whether it be intentional or not.

Our generation tends to lean on the mindset that we’re just being funny or joking around. We rely on the adage “it’s funny, because it’s true.” But when you say “that’s retarded” or “that’s so gay” about something, there is no truth in the comparison.

The NCHS student handbook classifies “prejudicial behaviors” as a form of harassment, and the consequences for such vary from an administrative conference to expulsion, depending on the severity of the bullying. Yet, when somebody in class calls a student a “retard” or “fag,” few to no teachers ever take action.

The bottom line is, it’s offensive. Teachers shouldn’t have to stop students from spewing off such hateful terms. However, until they do take action, insensitive teenagers will continue using these words, unaware of the negative connotations that they carry.

Under the harassment section in the student handbook, there is a subcategory of bullying stating “racial, ethnic, or religious harassment is specifically prohibited and will not be tolerated.”

Consider this article a proposal to add sexual orientation and mental or physical disabilities to that list.

Ultimately, we’re all in school trying to get through each day. We need to work together and coexist to make high school a bit smoother, so we have to respect each others differences. We’re almost adults, and we should conduct ourselves in school as such.