Homeroom More Like Stupid-and-Dumb-Room

Travis Hixson, Average OHS Homeroom Hater.

Travis Hixson, Average OHS Homeroom Hater.

Miles Kirkbride, Journalist

I hate homeroom. It sucks. It sucks really bad. This sentiment is shared amongst a large amount of the school population, students and teachers alike. So why is it still a thing? Social-emotional learning is important for a healthy school community, but the way it’s being implemented right now is inauthentic, lazy, and ineffective. 

Wasting students’ valuable time, this hour of nothing is devoid of any and all purpose. Character Strong’s corporate style “lessons” are unengaging and lack any sort of real meaning. It’s not possible to create a sense of community with these wholly manufactured interactions. Character Strong almost feels like an elaborate scheme devised by some evil capitalists to dumb down the general high-school population. Literally 1984. 

Remember that one week when our school community was under extra pressure from a surge in racist and homophobic remarks online? Homeroom had the potential to actually do some good here, by addressing the issue and having meaningful conversations about bigotry, But no. That’s not what we did. Instead, we watched a 30-second video briefly addressing the issue, and then embarked on another Character Strong adventure, this time in goal setting. This completely minimized the problem, and it felt like we were sweeping it under the rug. 

I think Character Strong represents a larger issue with new school administration. Instead of being adaptive, and finding practical solutions to problems, they seem to choose the easy, by-the-book approach to literally everything. Even students’ mental health. Character Strong is supposedly backed-up by positive data, suggesting that it does have an effect on students’ well-being. While I personally think that’s a load of crock, it could be true. The problem is that it’s literally the only thing our school is doing to combat declining mental health. It’s like slapping a band-aid on a gunshot wound. 

One OHS teacher, choosing to stay anonymous, says “the intention is good and SEL [social-emotional learning] is important, but the execution is failing.” Going even further Liam Power, OHS Freshman, complains that “there is no point in social-emotional learning, the teachers are awkward and teach us nothing.”

Until the school decides to purposefully value student mental health, we’re better off not wasting this hour every other week. We need a homeroom “strike”. Administration seems to place a heightened emphasis on attendance logistics, so if no one shows up for homeroom one week, it’ll throw ‘em for a loop. Maybe then they’ll actually listen. 

Overall, many students feel very strongly about homeroom’s lack of substance. Travis Hixson, OHS Senior goes on record, saying, “I think homeroom is stupid, it’s dumb, its tight-lipped, close-mouthed, ludicrous, laughable, comical, insane, unreasonable, irrational, outrageous, unbelievable, crazy, unintelligent, foolish, dull-witted, simple-minded, empty-headed, brain-dead, absurd, pointless, scatter-brained, thick-headed, vapid, idiotic, moronic, and meaningless. It’s overall a preposterous idea and very STUPID.”