We are in the middle of the section on the Constitution and I am in hog heaven. We have spent the week looking at the Bill of Rights and the last couple of days on a Supreme Court decision from the 80s. The discussions yesterday and today are why I teach. They are engaged--they have been arguing the case in other classes as well! They are well versed on the Fourth Amendment and are asking great questions...
- Student's Rights versus 'School Environment'
- What happens when you search for one thing and find something worse?
- When should parents be notified when a student is suspected of violating a school policy? A crime?
- Should students expect to have any privacy while at school?
- Are teachers agents of the parents or agents of the states?
One of the beauties of these discussions is at this age is they still live in a state of idealism. What is right is what is fair and they don't tend to see a lot of 'gray'. I get to play devil's advocate and they get really frustrated with me when I change sides on a dime.
To invoke Thanksgiving--they are gobbling up the debate. They see how complicated it is to protect our rights and are up for the challenge! The want to understand and are more than capable of coming up with their own opinions.
Dismiss them at your own peril.
When people wax on about the state of education and young people, I smile. They don't see what I see. Wax on...just know that we are fine. There are issues to be sure, but there are always issues to deal with. How we deal with them is the better discussion. We look back nostalgically on our youth and forget something:
They aren't like us but, hell, we weren't like us either.