Dear Empowerment Student
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How can we enable adults to believe that empowering students with a voice and agency will result in discipline and more positive outcomes for students and for the community?
Dear Empowered Student,
Students often endeavor to find a unique voice in high school, yet they find themselves silenced by adults and their own internal censors. Sadly, adults seldom ponder students’ desire to discuss issues they, the students, find empowering for themselves and others.
Often actions speak louder than words, so the best way to convince adults to yield ground on the field of teenage autonomy is through responsible behavior. Teenagers should show how their empowerment will lead to positive results. Mature behavior on the part of students will assure elders that giving agency to the next generation is the right move. This will in turn inspire students to become leaders; they will stand tall and proud and show that they are not afraid to own who they are, and support a cause that they believe in.
Empowerment gives students the capability to speak up with a heightened level of self confidence, and those with low self confidence–given the ability to speak up–will gain self-assuredness. A climate of opportunity creates a positive environment for students. In this tumultuous political era, adults can empower students by allowing them to protest and by giving them the freedom to have debates and write about topics that they see fit to discuss, but this is more likely if students engage in responsible protest actions that are founded both on heart-centered emotion and mind-centered reasoning.
Adults, on the other hand, must understand and be prepared for the fact that new-found freedoms will embolden students because it will enable them to explore their thoughts and to grow as self-confident, freethinkers, which will in turn benefit themselves, their families, the community and the nation.