Abolishing High School:
The Pursuit of Creativity, Interest, and Adulthood
High school is one of those milestones in an individual’s life that will be remembered for a long time to come. Whether one’s experiences are positive and allow him to find his purpose in life or whether they are so terrible that his view of education is tainted forever, what happens in high school affects how one’s future will turn out. Leon Botstein, author of “Let Teenagers Try Adulthood,” states that the traditional high school system should be abolished because it is not benefitting teenagers. He states that cliques of popularity and athleticism and teachers who care more about money than education stand in the way of proper learning for teenagers. Botstein further argues that school stifles students creativity and that they really do not want to be in school. His argument that the traditional high school setting should be abolished is somewhat justified on the fact that cliques make schooling experiences difficult; however, his statement that children’s creativity is stifled, they are bored in high school, and that they are ready to be adults at a young age is invalid.
Botstein’s first argument is that students’ creativity is stifled by the high school environment. He states that “most thoughtful young people suffer the high school environment in silence and in their junior and senior years mark time waiting for college to begin” (Source 2). He supports his argument by describing how the two gunmen in the Columbine school shooting were not allowed to be creative and that they felt trapped in the school. He says that because these students were not able to express themselves that they were basically ticking time bombs waiting to explode. However, most schools have programs or classes that enable their students to express themselves. Source 3 states that “access to a common, full-blooded humanities curriculum will help students cross social boundaries in their imaginations.” By incorporating liberal arts programs into the traditional high school setting, students have the ability to better express themselves. Even students have testified that they have the ability to be creative during school and that teachers have even encouraged ways of individual expression. One student states, “the teachers have encouraged me to write poems and essays. I never had that [before]” (Source 4). How would abolishing the traditional high school setting help students to better express themselves? If anything, it would make it worse, because in school students have the opportunity to take music, art, and creative writing classes that allow them to be creative and expressive.
Leon Botstein secondly argues that students do not really want to learn or be in school. While students may say that they dislike school and that they do not really wish to go every day, every child has the inherent desire to learn. It may also be a form of rebellion -- since students are...