My Shout: When did it change?

Charlotte Guedry
Charlotte Guedry is Editor of the Gonzales Weekly Citizen. She can be reached by emailing

I was at my Rotary?Club meeting this morning, and the guest speaker was talking about our local school system. Now,?I must say, where I live we are very fortunate.?We have an amazing public school system, which is well organized. The kids here are getting high quality educations, but I digress.... (Seriously, though,?I really could go on and on about our public schools here)!

Anyway, during her talk, this woman mentioned something that has been sitting with me all day. She was talking about the social attitudes of children, and she said these two sentences that I honestly can’t get out of my head. “They (the school kids) don’t all come into our schools nowadays knowing how to behave. We are teaching some of them how to do this before we can get them to learn.”

Wow! When did that happen??I know it did. I see it in the attitudes and reactions of today’s youth on a fairly regular basis, but when did it happen?

A lot of kids are downright surly nowadays. You ask them something, and you’re lucky if you get an inaudible grunt as a response. Again,?I ask, when did that happen?

When I was in school, the mere thought of causing a disruption in the classroom was something I knew would never be tolerated. Sure,?I was a bit of a class clown, but my friends and I did it in a witty way.?We were clever in our banter, and our teachers never saw any real harm in it. We would, of course, get told off from time to time, but we never got in any serious trouble. And why should we have??It was all innocent fun.

It’s not uncommon for today’s classrooms to see not one or two cut-ups, but handfuls of them. These cut-ups aren’t causing slight disruptions, they are causing havoc. Again, when did this happen? I honestly can’t see a definitive timeline on when the attitudes of children changed, but they did, and I really want to understand it a bit more.

Students are swearing, they’re hitting, they’re being cruel, and they’re threatening people with weapons. Oh, and this is often aimed at the teachers.?What happens to the poor other kids in class when the tables get turned on them?

I know school is hard, and yes, even as a former teacher, I will admit that it can be a bit boring at times, but come on!?Getting an education is by far the greatest gift anyone can ever give to themselves.

Not everyone is going to be a doctor. Not everyone is going to be President. Not everyone is going to financially benefit from their degrees, but the personal benefits are beyond words.

Knuckling down, and just getting on with your education, shouldn’t be done simply because you have to. You should want to get the most out of it that you possibly can.

Speaking properly, listening skills, presenting yourself well, these are all skills learned through the social interactions of a good education. These are all things people should be aspiring to obtain.

When i look back at my time in school, sure, some of it was awful. It was dull, and I had to spend time with people I may not have necessarily liked, but it truly was a gift.

There’s got to be something that we, as adults, can do to get that fire back n the bellies of today’s kids. There’s got to be something we can do to make them see just how important it is.

School should be about becoming the best someone can possibly become.

The problem is that it is now viewed as a place where discipline and rules are combatted at every corner.

There are just so many benefits to one’s time in school. Now if only we could get the kids off of their iPhones long enough to see that!

Charlotte Guedry is Editor of the Gonzales Weekly Citizen. She can be reached by emailing