This post is only for kids. If you are an adult, particularly one who works in a school, please click on “INDEX” and browse through my wide selection of posts for your reading pleasure.
OK kids, I am now about to betray every principal and teacher I’ve ever worked with by telling you the one big secret that you can use to gain ultimate power in your school.
You may have thought that principals were in charge of teachers and teachers were in charge of students, even though there are far more students than anyone else in the building. But the truth is that you have one nonviolent weapon that teachers and principals fear so much they are afraid to even talk about it.
I will now tell you this amazingly easy way to put the adults at your mercy and get what you want. But you have to promise that you will only use this power for good, not for evil. You can use it to get justice, not to inflict random acts of terror. So, for example, if you have some stupid rule that the adults imposed on you without your input, like no gum chewing, or no hoodies, or no recess for 7th & 8th graders, you use this weapon to change all that. Don’t use it to demand that teachers salute you, walk backwards making chicken sounds, or wear their underwear on the outside.
So here it is. Here is the way that you can rule your school. Every public school in the United States has state testing. In New England, it’s called the NECAPS. In California it’s called STAR. You know what yours is called. If there’s something you want to change about your school and the grown-ups have refused to listen to you, all you have to do is get about a third of the kids in your school to threaten to get the questions wrong on purpose on the state tests.
That’s it. The reason it’s a more powerful weapon than a student strike or anything else you can think of is that the jobs of the principal and the teachers are on the line. The school itself could be shut down if test scores stay low for a few years. Plus, your grades don’t have anything to do with the state tests, so it would be very hard for the adults to fight back – they can’t lower your grades if you are doing your school work well, and they can’t even prove that you got questions wrong on purpose. All they have to know is that there are a bunch of you who are so serious about the change you want to see in your school that you will bring down their precious test scores if they don’t listen to you.
Remember, your school is made for you! All of those people are working for your benefit. A lot of rules, like no running in the hall and no bungee jumping off the roof, are made to keep you safe, and that’s cool. But sometimes adults get confused about the purpose of rules. They make stuff up just to show you that they are in power. They tell you how to dress and how and when to speak. You should ask yourself, is this rule there for the benefit of students? If you disagree with a rule or anything else at your school, talk to other students about it. If a bunch of you think it should change, go speak to the teachers and Principal. Now that you have this secret weapon at your disposal, you know that you are the ones in your school with the ultimate power.
By yourself, you may not have a chance. But together with a group of friends, if truth & fairness are on your side, no one can stop you. Now go take over your school!
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