Don’t Shoot the Messenger

How students in extracurricular activities have been reprimanded for doing their job.


Student delivering a summons to a class

Students walk into a classroom with a small piece of paper in hand, then promptly get the door slammed in their face or yelled at for delivering a simple announcement for an ongoing event at North Hollywood High School.
Anahí Gonzalez, the president of the school, has experienced this attitude from teachers numerous times. She has done summons for the college center as well as for the blood drive which has caused controversy.
For instance, she experienced a rough time with the teacher Mr. Smith* while giving out blood drive slips. She claims she should not be attacked for it.
“It’s not my problem they signed up for it,” she responded when the teacher got angry at her while she gave the slips out.
Teachers have such a rough time complying with the activities going on at school that there is a list of teachers whose rooms students are not allowed to enter with summons.
Anahí sees the list as a waste because giving out summons is not as big as a distraction as the teachers make it seem according to her.
“There is no point in getting angry. It’s just handing out a piece of paper, nothing big.”
President of Upward Bound and fellow ASB member, Sabrina Ruvalcaba, has experienced the same treatment while giving out slips.
She has seen that teachers are angry and “they feel like [they’re] disrupting the class, when [they’re] usually just dropping off a note, never saying anything publicly or making announcements.”
This can also be seen with Jane Doe*, a student who works in Mr. Chavez’s office, and her experience with Ms. Jones* while dropping off a message.
When Jane* walked in, she was yelled at and told “I’m in the middle of lecturing these kids, you just can’t interrupt me like that.” She stood as the teacher reprimanded her in front of her students with “no shame.”
The worst part is these students never receive an apology.
“I thought it was humiliating.” she recalled. Jane* believes she shouldn’t be treated like that.
It’s embarrassing to students just doing their job.
The problem that is seen is that the kids are being yelled at for things that they can’t control.
Sabrina explains “It’s [the student’s] responsibility to choose certain teachers. It’s out of our control [who students choose], and it does get chaotic when we hear feedback that they’re saying ‘You need to stop disrupting our class,’ when we’re simply dropping off a note.”
Both sides have points: teachers don’t want disruptions and students are just doing their job.
The students all understand that the teachers have some sort of point when they get angry.
“She’s just doing her job.” Jane* says while asked if the teachers deserve to be mad at the disruption.
The irony in this disagreement is that both the teachers and the students view themselves doing the right thing: their job.
Consequently, the students do want to solve this issue so that these sort of arguments don’t continue.
It’s seen that students with these experiences are all good members of the North Hollywood High School community. Anahí is the president of the school, a peer college counselor, and PR chair; Sabrina is chair of spirit committee and president of Upward Bound; Jane* is an active SAS student and varsity volleyball player. These students just try to do their jobs and want the teachers to see that.
One final message Sabrina has for the teachers is to “Learn to appreciate what the students do for this school rather than calling them a disruption.”

*Some names have been changed to protect identities