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MayAGCL

United States

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Do Teachers Grade Students Based On Appearance?

March 15, 2016

High school students, all around the country, have always been told not to get body modifications such as piercings, hair dye, and scarification. Is there a good reason?
    Why do teenagers do these body modifications anyways? In a 2007 article, it was mentioned that tattoos give the youth “feelings of greater control and authority over their own lives.” In addition, tattoos can also display maturity and autonomy, if utilized in a nuanced way. A couple decades ago, tattoos were used for gangs. Now, the stereotype has changed since most of the tattooed youth are “high-achieving students.” Nevertheless, teachers still seem to discriminate against modified teenagers!
    Body modifications are becoming the norm in our society. Parents are starting to consent to these procedures, and some parents even encourage them. In 1999, Melody Pabon, a freshman at the time, told Louis J. Salome that she had become addicted to piercings. Unlike many teens, she did not pierce herself, rather she was encouraged by her mom and aunt to get her nose and navel pierced professionally. She says, “I wouldn’t do it without my mother.” If Pabon is among the numerous students that is pierced, it is to be said that a student should not be graded differently from a pierceless classmate. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
    Students should be able to do whatever they want to their body, with parental consent, and not be graded/treated differently at school. People think that this discrimination does not happen anymore, and that is where they are wrong. Just last year in my private high school, a teacher got fired for telling a student that she “will never get anywhere in life.” This teacher had also nearly failed the student. Mind you that this student has A’s in all of her other classes. It is very rude and unfair to be judged that way. Teachers cannot be prejudice against modified students.
    Little do teachers know the effect that something like that can do to a student. Fortunately, the teacher in my small private school got fired. The student on the other hand, still has some issues with her appearance and self confidence. Some schools cannot fire a teacher for a many number of reasons.
    My parents told me that after a year of high school, good grades, and good relations with my teachers, only then can I get my septum pierced. This frustrates me! Why do I have to make a good first impression based on my appearance and knowledge? Does a facial piercing make me any less capable of learning than my classmates? In any event, they did get me worried. The thought that my grades would drastically change due to a simple piercing. If I do feel that I will be discriminated, I will speak up! This has got to change, for me, and for every student that wants to express themselves.
    On the other hand, these prejudice acts do not only occur in schools. They occurs also in work settings and normal day-to-day life. Additionally, some modifications can be extremely regretful once you grow up. For instance, tattoos and gauges can be removed and fixed but both procedures are expensive and dangerous. Lastly, some modifications are dangerous to begin with. Reputable shops can be hard to find nowadays!
    So yes, as of right now, do not get any body modifications in high school. Especially if you want good grades and good relations with your teachers. Why? Society has not yet evolved into an accepting community of individuals who do not judge each other based on looks. When that happens, do whatever you want and you will not have to worry about your future.

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