As I write this post in my first period class at my school during my spare time, I realize that I am fortunate. While my school is mainly pro-student rights, I realize that there are some schools that are ageist and barbaric in their policies.

This must change. Students are in school for nearly eight hours a day, coming close to the normal workday. If you add it up, a student is in school for about 40 hours a week, sometimes against his will, and not receiving any monetary compensation.

Some might say, “Oh. They shouldn’t be paid. Attending school is preparing them for the future workforce.”

Okay… That’s all good and all, but what about the students who have no desire at all to become a scientist, a PE coach, or a mathematician?

Don’t get me wrong. I understand the numerous benefits and advantages of taking English classes, math classes, science classes, and all of the other classes. In fact, I enjoy learning about such topics, and I find it practical in my day-to-day life.

The ordinary person has to have a high school-level understanding of English to be successful in the work force and everyday life. You may not need a high school-level understanding of math, but you do have to know how to add, subtract, divide and multiply. With social studies and science classes, that might be a bit harder to explain, but they are still valuable. When you understand topics better, you sound like you know what you are talking about – intelligent.

However, since not all students want to take such subjects, all schools should offer classes that prepare these students for a career after school. Career management and classes practical to these students must be available.

At some schools, students are still discriminated against in the education system.

Students play an integral part in the schools – without students, there would be no need for schools. When I hear of administrators or teachers treating students as if they are the scum of the earth, it bothers me.

Students should have every right that they have outside of school inside of school. Students should have representation in the school and on the school board. Such examples are student councils and student representatives.

Student publications should not be censored by administrators when in the real world, it would be illegal to censor.

Teachers should not force their students to stand up and say the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Not only is that unconstitutional, it is illegal.

Administrators should consider ideas from the student, and not just dismiss the ideas because it came from a student.

Administrators should listen to students’ testimony in a disciplinary hearing carefully and with unbiased ears. They should not automatically assume that the student is at fault or that he committed the crime or offense that the teacher or other person said that he did.

Administrators also must not deny students the right to form a club at school when there are other non-curriculum clubs. According to federal statutes, it is illegal for a school to deny a student his right to do so under these circumstances.

Finally, I believe that administrators should not take advantage of students just because some may not know their rights. If administrators treat students as an adult and with respect, they will be treated with respect in return.

One of these days, a student who knows his rights will take his school system to court. It has happened before, and it will continue to happen until administrators stop abusing their powers.