The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


The official student news site of Athens Drive High School


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Can Kindness Become Cool?

High school students everywhere have to admit- kindness has become uncool. People today are so socially immersed in their own clique of friends that they do not make an attempt to embrace others for their differences. It is often cool to make fun of others for looking different or having a different personality because it is “funny.” However, does society need to operate by these standards?

Research done at the California State University explains the truth and structure behind high school social cliques. Despite differences in looks, personalities and values, there is a common goal all students should strive to meet.

High school journalists reported back to California State University, disclosing that there is one “…important point of agreement: everyone must work harder to show respect to others.”

Social cliques are exclusive. The students in a specific group tend to not breach out and extend friendship to other posses.

Mark Vincent, a social psychologist at Augustana College in Rock Island, explains that there is a lack of kindness and acceptance among different members of social cliques, “You tend to like members of your own group and not like the members of other groups…and think we are better than them.”

Often times, the social pressures of high school lead to emotionally distraught teenagers. Bullying is not always served in a physical form. Students can be verbally abused by the words and actions of others who will not allow certain students to become a member of their clique.

Student researchers participating in the California State University study detail how different cliques talk about one another, “Some would say we are drug addicts, violent, racist, consumed with death and darkness. They say we don’t shower. They use very derogatory terms.”

Kids want to receive attention for their actions. If they are rude and unaccepting to other people, it shows their friends how exclusive and “powerful” they are. High school is a jungle in which way too many teenagers aim to become King.

Margaret Sagarese interviewed students and published her findings in an article in South Florida Parenting, “Kids act mean because they think they will become more popular, get attention, have more friends and gain power.”

Rudeness should not be praised. There should not be an incentive for shunning another student because he is different than oneself. The solution to high school bullying and mental health problems is simple: stop rewarding the ruthless.

Dr. Cynthia Scheibe analyzed children’s TV shows and found that a stunning 96% included verbal insults and putdowns.

It is sickening to realize that society operates in such a way that becoming mean is becoming funny. When did this phenomenon start? Who started this phase? While questions such as those probably will never be answered, students today can start to make a change by making kindness once again “cool.” They need to start accepting others for their differences and branch out to others beyond the boundaries of their social cliques.

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