When people think of seniors, they think of the big dogs of the school. They are leaders, and when they say something, people listen. Sometimes they are feared, other times they are loved. But most importantly, seniors are known for being respected throughout the school. Some seniors this year have felt that the respect given to them is little to none. Underclassmen have noticed this as well. Whether it is a new problem at FHS, or a problem that has lingered on and has not been a big deal now is a determination the school itself will have to make.
“I’d say that I am personally getting respect from the underclassman,” Bailey Klaumann ’16 said. “I don’t talk to a lot of people though so I don’t have many people to give me respect or disrespect.”
For other seniors, they think that their class receives no respect whatsoever.
“They think they own the place,” said Mark Kroeker ’16. “When we were underclassmen, we just followed whatever the seniors did and kept our mouths shut. Now it’s just weird and I don’t understand why”.
From 2012, when the seniors were freshmen, to now, the 2016 class would say that the times certainly have changed. In some of their eyes, respect has changed and the different views of respect vary from class to class
“No, I do not think the seniors are getting respect this year,” said Paige Eden ‘16. “I think that over time, things have changed.”
For many, the idea is that everyone should treat others the way they want to be treated.
“We seniors have become more lenient and try to become friends with the underclassmen and treat them respectfully,” Eden said. “Unfortunately, I think that it has backfired. We’ve let them get away with too many things. Now they think they can walk all over us.”
Not only has the disrespect been noted by the seniors, it has also been brought by members of the underclass.
“The underclassmen don’t understand that they’re supposed to respect those that are older than them because they were eighth graders and they were the older class,” Jordan Rhunke ’18 said. “They were the ones mouthing off to people. Now that they are in high school, they need to learn to just tone it down a little.”
There are some underclassmen, however, that have no clue that there has been any disrespect at all.
According to Isaac Robertson ’19, “I didn’t really know it was a problem. If it is, I think the reason that it’s happening is probably because people have big egos and they think they can do and say whatever they want no matter what age they are or what grade they’re in.”
One underclassman, Britney Scheetz ‘18, thinks both sides could be at fault. “I think the underclassmen sometimes think that they know everything,” Scheetz said. “But also, sometimes the senior boys forget that they were once in our shoes making the underclassmen mad. I mean we still look up to them and attempt to respect them. It just doesn’t always happen.”
The dispute between the seniors and the underclassmen has not only caught the attention of the students, staff and faculty here have also noticed the disrespect from the underclassmen.
“Yes, I do believe there is some disrespect being shown by the underclassmen to the seniors,” English teacher Ms. Darby Davidson said. “I have never seen it like this until I moved to Fairbury. In other schools, it’s more of a community effort. Upperclassmen take it upon themselves to look over the underclassmen because they know that the underclassmen are the future of the school.”
There are some teachers that know that it is happening, but do not tolerate it in their classroom. “I have not specifically seen the disrespect in my class because I don’t allow it,” Band teacher Ms. Maureen Beck said. “My students don’t have enough time to bicker because we are so busy doing things.”
When asked if the disrespect is a new problem or if it has been going on for a few years, Beck said, “I think it has been happening over the years; however, it hasn’t become a big problem until now because sometimes, people just reach their tolerance for things. What I think has happened is that people’s limits have finally been reached.”
The year has only just begun, and we still have a long way to go before it is over. Only in time will we find out if things between the seniors and underclassmen will continue, or if the disrespect will linger until graduation and move on.