Dear Kipp Student
This is a question that seems to come up not only every year but every few days as we kippsters make our way from deck to deck and wonder why we aren’t entitled to many of the experiences “normal” high schoolers have.
“KIPP strives to be professional” and perhaps the rules in place attempt to steer the students in the same direction. As for the “normal” high school argument this is one that has been had since the class of 2010 entered their first day of 9th grade. Perhaps it’s because at “normal” high schools the administration doesn’t need to worry so much about what goes on between students. Whereas in our community relationships between our peers can easily spiral out of control.
Living in such a small town can affect these decisions on whether relationships should be public. Everyone will know about it. It’s not like you attend a school of thousands of people where you’re unnoticed. Everybody notices everything and they all talk. In order to prevent this gossip and other drama, KIPP has set the standard that relationships don’t need to be public.
This particular question reminds me of an incident where there were two students walking together and Mr. VanDeWalle stopped them in their tracks and said “There will be no courting at this school.” And perhaps KIPP doesn’t approach this issue in the best way, but you have to think about it. Do you really want everyone to know every moment of your relationship? It’s not really something that’s important when it comes to school.
Again, KIPP strives to be extraordinary, especially in the academic department. Knowing that Billy Bob is dating Sally Sue is not going to help any of us prepare for the AP exams and it certainly won’t help us pass those notorious Calculus exams given by Mr. Whitfield.
Having a relationship is all fine and dandy, but at some point you have to realize you’re just in high school. There will be plenty of time for that later on, but you only have four years in high school. Only four years to make an impression on your dream college, to show them that you have not only the personality but also the academic ability to achieve greatness. A relationship may be great, but I doubt it will help you reach this goal.
I don’t necessarily believe the school leaders feel a certain way about love. It’s just that they feel that students need to prioritize better. After all, an education is much more important than dating Joe this week and Sammy next week. At a young age, even the slightest bit of lust seems like love. As you mature and grow older, you’ll realize what you thought was love actually wasn’t. Maybe KIPP is trying to avoid these mistakes and regrets later on in the future. There won’t be any “I wish I had done this” and “I wish I had done that”. Instead, KIPP is preparing you for college the way they think it should be done: with no distractions. And though it may seem crazy and unusual, these rules are only made to help the students succeed in life and have a better future.