When adults feel uncomfortable with what’s going on around us, we can often just up and leave.
But if you’re a tween or teen, from 8:20-2:55, Monday through Friday, you’re “doing school.” You’re in lock-down. If your peers make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe or worried or fearful, you’ve just got to suck it up.
Someone once said, “Real life is a mere shadow of high school.” For some kids who live and breathe the drama, they may look back at these years as the highlight of their life. When else do you get to feel so powerful as you immortalize other people’s humiliations? Broadcast their betrayals? Fire up the feuds with half-truths and lies? Middle and high school students who are into this game may love school because it’s the ultimate reality show and they and their friends are mega-stars.
But not all kids enjoy the sport of tearing down other students. If they themselves are targeted by bullies, they hate the whole scene. Even if the toxicity isn’t directed at them, many kids just don’t like being around it. Either way, where can a kid who wants to opt out of the social garbage and have some peace during lunch to retreat to?
Here’s my idea…
I propose an OASIS… one quiet room in every school, only open at lunch & staffed by a calm teacher who wants to be there. No talking. No texting. Just soothing music. A place where everyone is welcome to just be. Simple, right? All you need is a room. (One thing all schools have plenty of.) No funding. No curriculum. No tests. No thing. Just a room that’s always empty at lunch, a caring teacher and an understanding that we all need an OASIS.