I go to a private school in Massachusetts for highschool now, but I used to go to public school, and I’m not sure which is worse. Mid-december of this year, someone drew graffiti in one on the men’s rooms. Nothing major, just the Dead Kennedys symbol. In response, the school administration, who have a long history of zero-tolerance, pre-emptive discipline, and squandering money for themselves, shut down all the men’s rooms in the school.
In late January, they finally caved to protests, and opened one bathroom for all of us to use, which is still closed every so often for no apparent reason. Now, the school is laid out as three hallways, one on each floor, with the girl’s rooms at one end and the men’s rooms at the other. They one they opened in the one next to the foyer, far from most classrooms. If I were to leave my third floor spanish class to use the bathroom, it would take me ten minutes to get down there and wait in the line, and another five minutes to walk back up. The administration dictates that only one student may be absent from the class at a time, so we have, at most, three chances each class to go.
In addition, they have installed cameras monitoring that men’s room. It’s rather uncomftorable to be using a urinal and staring into a glossy black lens.
And then we have prom…
Before Junior prom, they threatened the entire junior class (I was not there to see this, as I am not a junior) with not having a senior prom next year if there was any “dirty” dancing. They didn’t specify what that meant exactly. I went to that prom because my girlfriend is a junior. The DJ played only songs that would cause dirty dancing and more or less encouraged it. Two of the younger teachers who are married were grinding in the middle of the crowd. Most of the students there didn’t do any dirty dancing. The prom as a whole was rather clean. No one showed up drunk, no one got into fights. I still had to submit myself to being breathalyzed, and no one was allowed to leave before 11:00 (which was a real pain for me, because I had to drop my date off an hour away, then drive an hour and a quarter back home), but we all had a good, clean time. I’ve seen a lot worse.
The monday after, they call all the seniors together and inform us of the “new rules” regarding our prom.
- No dancing other than “ballroom dancing” will be allowed, violators will be ejected.
- No one may come in a group or in pairs, no one may come in a limo. We must be dropped off and picked up by our parents (most of us are 18+. One guy is almost 20), on penalty of suspension.
- We will have, instead of one of our classes, mandatory ballroom dancing classes (in a condemmed part of the building, no less), but yet we have to make up all our work.
- If we don’t show up for prom, and we are registered for it, they call our parents and the cops (They did this to the sophomores at their semi. It got ugly.)
- Any voilation by a senior means we won’t walk the stage at graduation.
So, instead, we’re renting out an 18+ club which happens to be a block away from prom, and partying there. I believe there are only 12 people registered for prom so far.
Thank you for your wonderful website. I’ve been a registered libertarian for 1 year and 4 months now, and I’m proud to be one. I am also a lifetime member of the NRA and ACLU. Most of the people I know at my school are the same way, and many of the people I know outside of my school. There’s hope yet.
Update (six months later):
We held the prom for less than what it would have cost of the school had run it, and we did what we felt like doing. There were no problems or anything, as we expected. It was great.
Great job on privatizing your prom. It’s unclear why schools have proms anyway. Should they throw a group sweet sixteen as well? Will college prep courses soon be having proms as well?
The bathroom story is horrible. We recently wrote about school admins who thought purple hair was a distraction. Needing a bathroom break is a distraction. Like the hair dye story, schools present the opposite of a normal world. Once students graduate and work for a living, they will be allowed to have purple hair and go to the bathroom without asking.