Digital age causes more students to disrespect teachers

Jocelynn Acevedo, News Editor

Classroom dynamics have turned a complete table from only about twenty years ago, the popularity of the digital age, to now. Before cell phones, there were few situations where teens were disruptive and disrespectful in the classroom.

With the internet and social media, adolescents strive for attention and with that comes a new era of disregard. Students want other kids to notice them and will do anything, including disrespecting their teachers, to earn it. Even more, outside of West Springfield High School viral videos are surfacing daily which illustrate bad behavior in other schools.

Is there a problem with students disrespecting staff in West Springfield High School or am I just overreacting? This disrespect includes, but is not limited to students back talking, giving attitude, and not listening to staff. According to a feedback of 41 anonymous students, they have observed it too. Half of them have witnessed disrespect in their own classes.

Compared to when I was a kid there was no accepting of bad behavior in the classroom, so why has this changed? Some theories are that it’s because of the age of electronics, a new way for students to get in trouble in the classroom if distracted by their phones. In many cases, I have witnessed students refuse to put away their phones if laying on their desk, “but I’m not even using it,” they argue. Some teachers let it slide, but others are quick to take away phones. When a student is sitting in class plugged into their music, how do you think their teachers feel when they are trying to teach?

Adolescents crave attention and much of this is due to the era of social media. In a classroom setting for example, if a student is scolded by a teacher they often talk back. They do it to entertain the other kids in class. Giggles will be exchanged and the initial trouble maker will get their satisfaction by causing a scene in the class.

On Twitter or Instagram, I’ve viewed an escalation of this in other schools. Student-taken videos are recorded on smart phones of a peer screaming at their teacher and some even intensify to fighting. I’m positive that student got their enjoyment out of being a 15 second World Star.

There is an obvious lack of respect between teachers and students. The fact of the matter is that parents are either not strict about teaching respect or do not teach it at all. A student surveyed about the issue expressed that some of their peers are probably not raised properly, so they do not learn to respect adults. Parents need to take an active role in teaching respect. The consequences of not doing so are severe, and the results can be seen in our school everyday. Respect is everything.