Some have forgotten how to act in public

By Finn Thomas

Hillmen Messenger Staff

Etiquette is the idea knowing how to behave politely in a social situation. Having proper etiquette used to be recognized as a common element of life to always be aware of. However, as this generation goes on, some have noticed that many students at school, and just people in the general public have less of a respect for others around them.

For students at Placer, it is common sense to respect others around in a classroom environment. However, sometimes people can get caught up in themselves and what they are doing, rather than being courteous to fellow students around them.

“A student should probably respect all the other students in a classroom, and not say negative things about them, and if there is another student having a hard time getting in the door, like with an umbrella or a stack of books, they should probably open the door for them, let them in,” said Dan Galloway, Placer High School science teacher, with his responses of what kind of etiquette a student should have in a classroom environment.

Many students, of course, respect and help others. However, has the number of students who do this dropped in the last generation? It seems that the actions of students may have done a couple years ago are more respectful than what happens now.

“One of the things I notice, is if there’s a chair up, like during first period, there will be four or five chairs left up from overnight, no one will take those chairs down. There will be twenty-five people in here, and two or three people absent, and they won’t even touch that person’s chair. It seems like it would just been common courtesy or sense to take that chair down so people could see. If it’s not their chair, they won’t touch it,” Galloway continued.

To many, taking a chair down so others could see, even if no one was using the chair would be an obvious thing to do. However, this situation shows that out of all those twenty or so people, no one bothered to take down the chair. Should students have to be taught how to be courteous, or is that not piece of this generations knowledge that seems necessary anymore?

It’s not just adults that have opinion on how students should act. Other students care about their surroundings and feel that people need to be more respectful.

“Some kids really need to learn some manners. There are a fraction of the people who have plenty of manners, and are very polite, but most of the kids need to learn manners from their parents,” said Theodora Petrovich, Placer High School student.

Have parents taught their kids manners, and they just didn’t listen? It probably depends on the family and how they raise their children. Along with manners, swearing seems to be a major problem in High School, and even middle school. Some just say things without thinking about people in their surroundings.

“I don’t think a lot of kids have proper etiquette, they like to curse a lot, and that is definitely not great. Especially towards elders, they should really not curse, and I’ve seen it a lot with teachers, they will curse at the teacher, which is really terrible to do,” stated Placer High School student Carley Mickel.

A general thing that many would think to do is say, “Thank you,” after someone hold the door open for them. In a classroom environment, some do not even think to say such simple phrases like that.

“For students when they leave the door, or think about what they want to do next, and not thinking, “Hey this person opened the door for me I should say thank you.” People think mostly about themselves, and that makes them tend to be rude, because they are not thinking, “What could I do for somebody else.” The question is does it come across as rude or not. To you, who has grown up with it, it doesn’t bother you as much. To as my wife, when she went to Catholic school, everyone was courteous, so to her, when they are not, she sees it as being rude,” said Galloway.

Not all students are clueless as to what to do in these certain social situations.

“Personally I would say thank you, and say that they are really sweet and stuff for doing that, because a lot of people don’t do that, but a lot of people would just sort of walk passed and not say anything,” continued Mickel.

It’s not just students who are not acting as politely as in previous years in public events People in public are generally more rushed and appear to be rude, even if they may not attend to be.

“People in general tend to be more rude than they used to be. If you go in a grocery store and someone wants to get in they will go right in front of you and take a cart. Whereas before, they would say “Hey take this cart.” I think that this is partly in response to people being in a hurry all the time. The have all this stuff going on that they want to just do something quickly,” Galloway responded.

A couple years ago, it seemed that people were not as disrespectful in public places, like a grocery store. Even students notice these changes.

“You get some of the older people that do have kids at the time, and they sorta grew up around the 80’s and before that, and they have a lot of etiquette because they grew up like that. Then you get the new generation and they just want to go, go, go,  and they don’t really be polite and wait,” Mickel said.

“People have become impatient, they don’t like to wait anymore because of phones and everything,” Petrovich stated.

Questions pop up with the idea that this generation may not ever learn the proper ways to act in public, or even just around the house. These important ideas many fade away until nothing remains. This is worry, because a world full of only rude people may not be pleasant.

“I honestly am not sure because, people could honestly change as they get older, they realise how rude they are and get some common sense, but then again, maybe they won’t get the common sense, how rude it is, and it will just go away, there will just be no etiquette,” Mickel reasoned.

“Unless something is going to get done, like certain steps and measures are going to be taken to introduce kids to manners, then yes it’s going to fade away,” concluded Petrovich, explaining that these manners could someday fade away until they are gone.

Could someone start introducing everyone to proper etiquette, or have times just changed, and proper etiquette is not needed? This world runs alright, even if there are disrespectful people in grocery stores and other public places. Everyone has different opinion on this subject, and some might even think that if everyone was nice, then the world around us may be a boring place.