Authority has always been the bane of society. Throughout history, there is a prevalent and strong correlation of authority figures abusing their power. Common figures include many dictators and monarchs, who went out of their way to dedicate resources to squashing rebellions and taking lives. Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Hirohito, Kim Jong-un, and many more are a few common and popular examples of authoritarian figures who reigned with tyranny and destruction. Every aspect of our life has some form of an authority member integrated; parents, teachers, elders, administrators, and many more rule over us. It is no secret that some form of hierarchy is required to have a functioning society. But in some cases, it crosses the line and thus, order is brought upon at the expense of everyone’s freedom. At what point does authority become too much and freedom becomes too little? Why does the United States allow citizens to enlist in the military and potentially die in combat (the minimum age to enlist is 17), but prohibits us from making other and our own choices (such as tobacco use, which is prohibited for those under 21)? Much of our youth is spent in school, where we are taught about the world. I am a strong believer of education and I believe that education is power; however, this will not dissuade me from criticizing aspects of it. Neil deGrasse Tyson, an intelligent and popular astrophysicist, stated that “We spend the first year of a child’s life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There’s something wrong there.” It is without a doubt that there indeed is something wrong with us choosing to force submissiveness into our children. Many times do schools put an emphasis on punishment and detention, rather than learning and rehabilitation. The rules that are established in our education system are oftentimes excessive to the point there they do more to beat us down into submissiveness than to teach us about the world. Students are usually met with detentions for the most minor of infractions, such as being tardy. Teachers will usually scold students for being tardy or sleeping in class but forget to ask why they were tardy or sleeping. It almost creates a sense that children’s obedience is more important and valued rather than their own welfare and health. In high school, a time of frequent stress and problems, we should be understanding and considerate.
Not surprisingly, statistics display that children cease asking questions at the same time they start writing and reading more. It does not necessarily point that education is bad; but it however may imply that we place too much emphasis on mandating students to be answering questions, reading, and writing, almost excessively to the point as if they are no longer allowed to let curiosity and creativity to flow. Instead of teaching our kids to heed every order that is thrown at them, we should embrace communication skills. In place of looking down on children who ask too many questions, we should allow them to ask and allow curiosity to flounder. School should not prepare children to be docile members of society; we should focus on preparing them to be functioning members of society. Instead of enforcing pointless rules–such as bland dress codes, tardy detentions, and more–we should help kids embrace their own individuality. We shouldn’t restrain our youth to small parameters as if they were a mere bonsai tree. Children are the future of the world, and it is our responsibility to mold them into creating a great and brighter future.