Culture Club: Nothing More Than Another Useless Conduct Change

Landon Stokes, Features Editor

By Landon Stokes

As some of you may know, the school administration is putting a shiny new coat of paint on the school-wide code of conduct this year.

But, as you may also know, a glistening turd is still a turd. To preface this: the code of conduct isn’t entirely stupid. In fact, it serves its purpose and, for the most part, keeps crazy, unwanted events from happening all the time and holds some order to the possibly otherwise lawless wasteland. However, there’s a difference between rules making sure everyone is safe and educated, and rules that serve no purpose or outline regulations for problems that don’t exist. Which brings me to the “new-and-improved” school rules and Culture Club visits for those who don’t subscribe to them. This would be an example of the latter.

First, what exactly is changing? In reality, not a whole lot. For the most part, the “new” culture you may have heard about is just a recycling of the same rules that have always existed. Except now, you get sent to detention “Culture Club,” and the staff has brought back fan-favorite rules, such as the no-hat policy, to be accentuated because it seems they have nothing better to do with their time.

As for Culture Club, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least somewhat interested in seeing what it actually is, or if it’s as terrible as it sounds. I’d like to think the club is not actually a place, but an actual blunt object, and unruly students are sent to a random broom closet to be disciplined by a staff member holding a large stick with the word “culture” written on it. Or better yet, it’s a secret dungeon hidden within the school, void of any light and the only company received is the presence or our great educational overlords forcing us to repent for our sins. In reality, however, Culture Club is likely to be little more than detention with a bit of a pre-school twist.

And remember that piece of paper you signed at your class meeting? That was the “Culture Contract,” promising you’ll obey all the new nitpicks, because the lines between high school and kindergarten are apparently rather hard to distinguish if you’re over the age of 30. If you thought taking students’ hats for a non-existent interruption to justify a rule observed in churches and schoolhouses before the Revolutionary War was obnoxious and a waste of everyone’s time last year, you can rest easy knowing it’ll be just as unnecessary this year, if not more! Also, as a side note, as far as the rule against foul language goes: I agree that there is a time and place for it, but I really don’t care if random-person-visiting-the-school #5 gets triggered when I curse in the halls, and I’m not going to adjust myself to accommodate them.

Here’s the issue: wanting to create a school culture is fine. I don’t personally care about it at all because I think for the most part it’s just unnecessary and childish, but if you really think things need to be different, knock yourself out. However, I’m not sure if forcing all students to sign their souls over to the administration and enforcing the same, stupid, outdated rules with more vigor is the best way of changing a school-wide culture. The administration, whether aware of this or not, needs to understand that being forced to do something by authority will almost always cause a negative reaction, especially if the regulations aren’t favorable to begin with.

If you really want to change the culture of a high school, maybe start by making meaningful policy changes based on student-staff desires and suggestions and proving to people that culture is something to care about. Forcing a signature and rebranding detention is not going to change anything.