Opinion: Don’t shame high school students

Mateya McCord, Reporter

Walking through the halls of NHS, many students tend to feel pressured about their appearance. Often students receive hurtful comments, shaming their sense of style or the way they dress. Minors, both women and men, experience being shamed or bullied by adults, elders and other students. It is completely unacceptable for adults to humiliate a high school student for their clothing choices. Some students like to wear what allows them to express themselves and feel comfortable, therefore humiliating a student may make them feel uneasy about themselves and cause them to no longer want to express themselves.

When an adult shames a student it causes them to feel guilty about themselves. Adults and others will make comments such as, “cover up,” or “your shorts are too short,” and “cut your hair.” They typically expect their culprit to feel good about themselves after they say all of these horrible things about them. Then they will ask, “what’s wrong?” and “why do you always wear baggy clothes?”

Teachers and other adults are supposed to make kids feel comfortable in what they are wearing and support who they are and their decisions. Adults may say nasty comments when they do not even know what is going on. If an educator is labeling a student, other students may catch on and start labeling their classmates. Labeling students will also bring them down and humiliate them for no reason at all. I believe that if everybody left everyone alone and supported each other, the world would be a way better place.

All of this humiliation has a negative impact on kids’ mental health. According to FamilyDoctor, children as young as three years old are likely to struggle with body image issues. This is exactly what our generation has faced. Three years old is far too young to be concerned or depressed about one’s appearance. We need to do a better job of building up our children and loving them regardless of their appearance.

Peers also are involved in shaming. High school students will shame each other and everyone always has something to say. One nice compliment to someone can go a long way. According to NBC News, being positive and complimenting others helps build positive relationships and can make someone’s day better with just one smile or conversation. Compliments make you feel good about yourself and shaming causes damage. Everyone needs to learn from this. 

If a student is struggling learning something or needs help with something, teachers need to help them and not make jokes or be sarcastic. Educators should always help encourage students to be their best selves and not bring them down. I feel that if you ever need to punish a student you should not make them feel so bad about it that they are being negative towards themselves or others. Make your punishment reasonable and appropriate so the student feels comfortable and learns from it to help others.