Where Has All the Respect Gone? Guest Post by The Teacher

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy for details.

Where has all the respect gone?
Guest Post by: The Teacher
                As I walked through the Halls of my school over the
past few years, something peculiar has been happening in schools. Students in
younger grades have been very disrespectful, rude, and even physically
aggressive towards upper classmen. As one watches these actions from a distance
a question arises: Where has all the respect gone?
when you were in grade school or high school – would you as a third
grade student have been  or bossy to a fifth grader? Or would you as a freshman
been disrespectful to a senior? The answer is absolutely NO NO NO.  The reason for that is because the student
who is in the younger grades would have been in some trouble because the
seniors made sure they were respected by use of hazing, bullying, or force. But
not today, today we have no tolerance for bullying, hazing, or making fun of
other students. I’m not for bullying – but hear me out. I know the reasons for the absence of bullying:
has been linked to childhood suicides, childhood shootings of their classmates,
or even adverse effects in the future, all of which we would be happy to rid
ourselves of.  But the question is are we
prepared for the adverse effects of a strong bully/hazing prevention programs?
That is something I am not too sure we are, if the results are what I am seeing
in schools across America.
What is
the purpose of bullying/hazing? 
Hazing is most commonly used in sports teams or sororities as a process
of respecting, earning respect, and overcoming fear. It has been used to make
teams stronger and closer together forming a strong sense of respect. It has
also been used for decades for a hierarchy amongst students in school for
respect to those in grades who are above you.
What are
the effects of current anti-bullying programs? Well as before mentioned: lack
of respect amongst younger classmates for upper classmates. Lack of respect for
teachers, adults, and other people and the reason for this is the effects of
hazing and bullying were to create respect and a sense of teamwork. In review
it is hard to determine whether the bully programs will eliminate all bullying
and if it will have any adverse effects that were unforeseen. What I would
question though is why our current culture of students to disrespectful to
upper classmen is?    

*Note – I am NOT supporting bullying or hazing but simpling noticing the differences which have ocurred since a more extreme anti-bullying campaign has begun.

Share with your friends!

Similar Posts


  1. Very, very, very interesting. I'm not so convinced that it is the anti-bullying philosophy as I am that it is the child does no wrong in my eyes syndrome. I think that kids in general are disrespecting anyone and if they have no fear it is because they are comfortable with the fact that their parents will back up their behavior, good or bad.

    The question to me is, are teachers expected to fix this and can they do it without a parent's help?

  2. The Teachers Wife says:

    Amanda – VERY good point. Parents being involved has been an issue for a while. But what to do about kids who know their parents won't care or even support them? They have no fear of acting up bc there is no consequence. I don't believe teachers can fix this bc you can't force a child to respect you. It is the parent's responsibility to teach their children appropriately. But when that is not being taught…..that is where we are today.

  3. I taught kindergarten for 7 years and I agree you can't force kids to respect you. But you can most certainly demand that they do! You can't control what goes on once a child leaves your classroom but you can control their behavior while they are in your room. I believe it takes a village. Respect must be demanded by everyone at school. Teachers need support from other teachers and administration. However, I believe teachers need to earn that respect from students. Teachers can and should teach you should treat others how you would want to be treated! I've done a lot of that with my kindergartens. This is not an easy task. But has always been a welcome challenge for me. I have not had much experience with bullying. I know I don't like it and I don't believe there is a place for it in school. Thanks for posting this!

  4. Mary Bauer says:

    I start my classes on the first day with a lesson on how to get what you want from me. I am teaching them to respect me and I don't give in when they become disrespectful. I use the broken record, "How do you get what you want from Mrs. Bauer?" They usually go back to their seats, raise their hands, and ask more politely.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What do you do about the fact that the anti-bullying policies have been put in place for protection on the students and none for the teachers. Where I am located, several teachers on a daily basis are being bullied by the students with no consequences to the students. The author of this blog brings up a great point in that it did show respect. Maybe there is a need not so much for bullying as a need for respect to be taught from the earliest of ages.

  6. The Teachers Wife says:

    To Anonymous – I agree with you in the utmost. Kids SHOULD be taught respect from the early ages. The problem it seems that our culture is moving away from parental involvement and less and less children are being supported or even taught by their parents! It seems society expects teachers and other professionals to "raise" our kids when this couldn't be further from what it should be! So ultimately the question is how do you get a parent to be involved and teach their own children? It seems that this question has gone unanswered for lack of a reasonable answer and we have moved to taking care of the mess of the problem in the first place.

  7. Karen Greenberg says:

    Hmmm… that is definitely an interesting thought. As many of the previous comments have already said, I think it comes down to a general lack of respect. Students of all ages think they can do or say whatever they want and get away with it. There WAS a certain amount of learned behavior in the form of respect when the older students had some way of putting the younger ones in their place.

  8. tiggysmum70 says:

    There's a third grader at my school that when they were in 2nd grade, they were "bullying" my 5th graders. It was sad b/c this kid knew who to go after and who to not go after per se. This year, they are just as bad and I told them in a round about fashion that if one of my 5th graders laid them out b/c of their antics, they better not say anything. I am a firm believer in if you dish it; you better be able to take it!

    Furthermore, if parents do not show respect for the teachers, neither will the kids. That has been a problem off and on too at my school. It is sad. I tell my parents, look if you don't show respect, your child will not either. They don't believe me at times, then they see it first hand!

    I also do not like the word tolerance thrown around either. I think empathy should be taught rather than tolerance in some cases. We have some "new" kids in our school b/c one school closed this year and they were all sent back to their home schools. These kids were use to 10 kids in their class. Now they are with 15-20 in a class. They are really hurting b/c some of the "home" kids are being butts. It's been hard to not show favoritism to the new kids w/o making the other kids upset. I have finally made it known that everyone in the class is a team and they will respect the team members or face the coach!

  9. I like the "face the coach!" aspect. I expect respect for everyone in my class as well. If someone is rude to another student constantly, I take them aside the first couple of times. The third time we have a class PowWow and discuss this individual child's behavior and our feelings about it. I also let it be known that the entire class is now free to correct that person loudly enough for me to hear whenever it happens in the future and there will be consequences if this happens-little or NO discussion beforehand. The students are also made aware that if they choose to be dishonest and try to get someone in trouble, they will have the same consequences…usually loss of recess, copy a paragraph or sentences and take home for parent signature. With their classmates as witness, most students correct themselves. There are some hard cases who have to be removed to the principal, but at least we have plenty of documentation to back up ISS. 🙂

  10. Alicia C. says:

    I have to agree with the first commenter, Amanda. While I see how you would land on the conclusion that anti-bullying campaigns could be a reason for the disrespect, and even agree to a point, I think that she hit the nail on the head. Every new generation of parents seems more determined to make sure that their kids have a good amount of self-esteem. While it is good to have this, I think the methods are wrong: everyone wins all of the time was the start. Then, there are those helicopter parents who will refuse to let their children learn to work out problems with their peers. Nope, they are there to stand up for their child no matter what. Kids learn that they "deserve" to have whatever they desire and that they should be treated well by everyone else (no matter how the kid acts toward others).

    Man! I have a zillion things to say on this subject! LOL I guess my first idea of a solution to this growing problem – before it gets so terribly bad that these kids are running rampant over everyone – is to start letting children try to work out their problems on their own from a very early age. As long as no one starts hitting!

Comments are closed.