This week I experienced students using inappropriate social filters particularly when communicating with adults.
Scenario 1–One of our female students was having a particularly difficult day. She had just found out that her boyfriend was cheating on her and she was discussing her plight to her friends in the hallway. As students are not supposed to be walking down the hallway during lunch, one of our faculty members asked her where she was going and she replied, “I am grown! I don’t have to answer to you!” The faculty member was taken a back by the comment and asked her the same question again. This time the student yelled,”leave me the $#*@ alone!” The student continued walking away from the staff member and went upstairs while the faculty member followed her. At their final destination, both reached the Assistant Principal who heard both sides. The student continued to be argumentative and insisted she was grown and did not have to listen to this person.
Scenario 2-A student walked into the guidance office to get her senior transcript. The secretary told her that she needed to have a family member to sign a permission to release her transcript. The student took the form and brought it back the next period. The secretary questioned if it was signed by her family member and called home. The family member said to give it to her anyway because she needed it. The secretary asked the student to come back the next day to pick it up.
The next day another secretary was sitting at the desk. The student came in the office and began to yell at the secretary because she could not get her transcript the day before. “By the way, I didn’t forge that form and you had no right to call my house!” The secretary was shocked and tried to explain that she was not the one who called, but the student kept yelling. I heard the commotion and came out of my office to talk to the student, but she yelled at me to “get out of my way.”
In both scenarios, it was not boys being aggressive, but it was girls. One of the issues that I see in high school girls is the inability to use filters to communicate appropriately in social situations. I have noticed that many girls tend to use the same communication style in different social situations which tends to work against them. It is my belief that counselors can teach girls to use appropriate social filters in different situations (school, home, or work). I feel this is very important to their future success.
Here is a video resource that can be used to show the importance of using social filters in different situations.