(This article was written in September 2000, for my high school's "independent" newspaper (which lasted like 4 issues) and was not published, and was later posted online as-is below at [the online version of our yearbook] (sorry, not going to link it) which is surprizingly still alive.. ) Some of the names have been ommitted to protect the identities of those involved.. (haha, oh, kids..)

it's about freedom of expression

Please note that this article was not allowed in the school's newspaper by the censors at the [high school I used to go to].

How many new rules have been implemented since you entered senior school? It is amazing how our rights can be run over in such a way just to "keep us in order" because "this is a learning institution not a circus", which is correct, because in a circus it is just those traits that are encouraged. Traits such as individuality and creativity that are very much discouraged in this INTERNATIONALLY renowned institution where the highest IB test results in ALL of [the region] are spawned. But where DO these results come from? From abundant rules? Harsh treatment on students by the faculty? Excessive work surging from every subject? You make the call, but my money is on the [greatly accomplished student]'s of the school. Students so dedicated, so intent on reaching their fullest potential that they could hardly care about anything that they cannot find in a textbook. One can only question whether the method of teaching that is ideal for this kind of student is also adequate for the remaining 95%. That majority who needs to run around a little bit at some point during the day, to relieve stress if possible, but are not able to because a red flag, symbol of the oppressive powers, gently flapping in the dust, is stopping them from doing so. Others may enjoy from the same effect by sporting daring piercings on their faces or loud colors on their heads or heaven forbid... a white strip of shirt showing below their uniform. "We can't have that in this institution, it's distracting!" Is it really? How many times have we busted out in the middle of a lesson: "I can't stand it! I just can't LEARN anymore!!! That person has 2 earrings!!! It's just TOO DISTRACTING!!!"? But, seriously, is there actually a valid point behind these new regulations? To us it is simply about freedom of expression, about feeling good with who we are, it is about a way to blow off some steam. One last question: "What's it to you?"