Disrespect: Is It a Teacher’s Job To Put It to a Stop?


AJ Royes

Picture of H.O.M.E office, C037, taken on Feb. 3, 2022. H.O.M.E Office has officials who you can report any disrespectful behaviour to and can help you sort it all out.

AJ Royes, Staff Writer

Disrespectful behavior within classrooms has always been an issue throughout the years, and things are no different at State High. But why has this issue persisted? Are disrespectful situations being handled correctly within classrooms? And if so, whose responsibility is it to put those disrespectful behaviors to a rest? 

Many people, teachers and students alike, believe that education and mental health goes hand-in-hand, and that what goes on in the classroom doesn’t just stay in the classroom, but has wide-reaching effects. 

Aaron Chamberlain, a math teacher at State High, thinks that it is part of a teacher’s responsibility to handle tough situations with their students. 

It is my job, and goal, to create a safe, welcoming, inclusive environment for students,” Chamberlain said. 

Chamberlain shared that he holds the goal of creating a positive atmosphere for his students, so that they can thrive both academically and mentally. Similarly, many students believe that teachers have an obligation to take support their students not only in terms of academics, but also in terms of mental health. Freshman Lucia Rodriguez-Hertz is one of these students, and she believes that disrespect should be put to a stop immediately in a classroom.

“If it’s in class … the teacher should definitely talk to them about it and tell them it’s not allowed in the classroom,” Rodriguez-Hertz said. She believes that teachers need to take the initiative to find a reasonable solution to stop disrespectful behavior. 

Words can be damaging, no matter what intent was behind them. That damage may affect students in different ways during different times—some may skip class, others may not participate, and others may not care at all. But for the people who do care, how can this be stopped? Chamberlain offered his take on what teachers can do and shared how he tries to navigate situations of disrespect in the classroom. 

“I try to model the behavior I want in my classroom,” Chamberlain said. “I like to have one-on-one conversations with a student to see how we could partner together to correct that behavior.”

Not every student may feel comfortable with a teacher handling disrespectful situations, though, and Rodriguez-Hertz provided some alternatives a student can take to handle disrespect. 

They should tell another teacher … talk about it with their counselor,” Rodriguez-Hertz said. 

There are other resources, beyond teachers and counselors, that are available to students who experience problems with another student. The REACT team is a group focused on helping students who feel that they have been a victim of an act of bias or discriminatory behavior.

It’s undeniable that there is way too much disrespect not being handled correctly in State High. If you’re a teacher, student, or member of the State High community, please do something if you see disrespect happening towards another person—even the small comments can get under someone’s skin.