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Thursday, June 26, 2014

School Rules

(This post is my own personal opinion and it holds no other purpose but to express my sentiments)

I get it. School rules are necessary and should be followed to the letter.  Rules are issued to instill  discipline among the members of the school community, be it for the students or the faculty alike.  Discipline is "the desired and/or expected norm of conduct." The importance of having rules is clearly enunciated in the case of DLSU vs. CA where the court, in stressing its importance  said : "the essential establishment of rules...may be regarded as vital, not merely to the smooth and efficient operation of the institution, but to its very survival." The court could not be any clearer than that.

Rules are an integral part of schools for their smooth operation.  They are imposed to establish to provide order and  harmony among each member.  Imagine a world where there are no rules. Each one will be acting on his/her own regardless of whether or not such an action is to the detriment of someone, especially another person in the community. Eventually, there will be nothing but chaos. Even the universe has its own rules or laws, the very reason why we live the way we do.

In order for rules to be effective, they should have teeth.  A rule that is ignored is inutile.  However, to make rules really earn its teeth, they have to be known by every member and that there should be a clear reason for their imposition  -  one must not run in the hallways, this is not a playground and one could get hurt;  one should take or use somebody else’s property without permission of the owner – that would be stealing.  There should be a clear reason why this or that is forbidden.  It could either be harmful for the doer or to somebody else.

When the rules are clear and the reason for its imposition is known and accepted, there will be no problem. However, sometimes, rules can be as abstract and unclear.  When this happens, each one can have their own interpretation until it becomes a free-for-all which only brings more confusion rather than enlightenment.

There are  rules which could be obscure to the point of being illogical to the members of the organization.  Often, these rules are viewed as whimsical or capricious as the members do not understand why this is being implemented.  Examples of these could be  the rule on hair color, or one's choice in clothes when a standard uniform is not required.   Let us take hair color for example.  What if there was a rule forbidding someone to teach with his/her hair dyed blonde?  Following the logic posed earlier, it could be assumed that this is so because blonde hair is bad.  But why? Often, they say, "this" is not a teaching hair color - if there is something like that.  What if the person is a natural blonde? He/She shoud not teach because she possesses bad hair.  But is this right? Can one not teach effectively because the color of his/her hair is not the prescribed one? Should the person color his/her hair black because that is the accepted hair color for teachers - in the Philippines, at least?  Why is it bad to have blonde hair in the first place? Does it hamper one’s thought processes? Does that impair a person's judgment? Is it too jarring for students that they cannot follow the lesson because the teacher’s hair is not "au naturel"?

Sadly, these are unacceptable because they do not follow the wishes one, if not all, in the administration.  They probably think this does not display good taste? Just because most Filipino hair is black, we assume that any other hair color is not acceptable? Is this not just a matter of opinion? This fact goes with the choice of clothes and the like.  I have been poring over this and came to one conclusion.  It is bad enough when a person forces his/her own morality on another.  It is even worse when one dictates his/her own personal tastes on anyone.   Just as I do not adhere to censorship, I do not want others meddling with my personal life.   I may not be cool in my choices of clothes, or they may frown on the food that I eat for these are too oily and dangerous to my health or they may not like how I behave in public. But as long as I am not a risk to someone, I don’t care! I am proud that I can be  who I am.  My personal tastes are my own. Allow me to enjoy my freedom. Let me suffer the consequences of my choices.   I  made them on my own.  To standardize such would be synonymous to animals,  who, after having engaged in a mating ritual, returns to the anonymity of the flock.  That is not me. I want to retain my identity wherever I go at any time in my life.  And so, unless the harming consequences of these rules can be explained to me with clarity and with a very convincing argument, I say let me be! 

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MGA TURO NI TITO:
Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


Taken by my friend Arlene Lawson in her room at Century Park Sheraton in May, 2000.
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Location: Bambang, Pasig City, Philippines

Jack of all trade, master of none. First a disclaimer. My students have discovered this blog and they might think that what I write is gospel truth. Worse is they might find an argument that they think they can use, for some reason or another, against their teachers. So, to set the record straight, it is NOT. As a matter of fact, I write and open it to feedback to get another view in the hope that somebody would tell me if I am wrong and reenforce my thinking if it is right. Not that I will accept anything thrown my way, though. Just so I can think about it some more and decide whether my original stance is right or definitely off tangent. So there. I hope that clarifies everything. Now, on to blogging.


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