Opinions: Hindsight: Respect

Respect is a mutual thing


In this photo illustration Mrs. Kim Lackey scolds Taylor Balleau (12) for having her phone on her desk, a reenactment of the scolding I received by a different teacher.

Lately, I feel like all of the adults in my life are out to get me.

I know that we’re supposed to respect our parents, grandparents, teachers, bosses, etc. But why respect someone who doesn’t respect me?

I know I’m younger and a lot less experienced with life  but this is not a one-way street type of thing.

Today, I had my phone out during the last 10 minutes of class. My teacher told me to put it away, so I did. But with the bell schedule being all messed up for EOC testing, I wanted to double check when we got out of the class. I had a picture of the bell schedule on my phone, so I looked at it for a mere 10 seconds.

My teacher told me to give her my phone, so I did, but I explained to her what I was doing on my phone. She didn’t listen or care. Then she had the nerve to gossip to the other teacher in the room mocking me. She said, “Put my phone away? Oh no. I don’t care, I’ll do it anyway.”

Then to make matters even better, she tells me that I’ll have to get my phone from the office at the end of the day. So there’s a Saturday detention for me. A Saturday detention for checking the bell schedule. I love it.

That was probably the most immature thing I’ve ever seen a teacher do… We’re supposed to respect these people?


How in any way, shape or form is that fair?

I don’t care how old you are, if you respect me, I’ll respect you.

Never once have I disrespected that teacher in any way. I always do my work, pay attention in her class and get good grades on all of my tests.

Why is it okay for teachers, parents, bosses, etc. to make teenagers feel lesser than them just because they’re older than us? I could ask this question all day long because I will never understand.

If I was a troublesome kid that purposely disrespected adults, didn’t listen to them, mocked them and was just plain ignorant towards them then, yeah, I could see the adults not giving me an ounce of respect.

But that’s not me. I am the good student. I am the better child (sorry Mike) and I do what I’m supposed to do almost 98% of the time.

I’ve made up my mind that when I’m an adult, I’m not going to disrespect a kid just because they’re a kid. I’m not going to use my age as an excuse to be mean to someone younger then me. It’s not right.

The biggest problem here though is how do we change this? Can we?

I wish there was a way to make adults see how it feels to give respect but not receive it. Or maybe they already know. They have jobs, which means they have a boss.

Does their treatment of us mean that their boss orders them around and doesn’t show the slightest sliver of respect towards them? Why would anyone stay in that job then? Or are they so unhappy in their lives they feel the need to take it out on others?

This is why I don’t understand that adults do the same thing to kids. I’m still growing up. I’m still learning. Being treated like that emotionally hurts me.

I don’t deserve to feel lesser of anyone, whether they’re older than me or the same age. I’ll respect you, if you respect me. But because I don’t want conflict, I will respect the adults in my life. Or at least pretend to. If I don’t, it’ll make my life harder.