Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs

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POINT: We can be Bulldogs without the buck

Bulldog Bucks are here, but are they a good idea?  Alexia Kingzette and Robby Filec square off on the issue.

Alexia Kingzette

Bulldog Bucks are here, but are they a good idea? Alexia Kingzette and Robby Filec square off on the issue.

Alexia Kingzette, Staff Reporter

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READ ROBBY FILEC’S COUNTERPOINT TO THIS COLUMN

When I was seven, my second grade teacher had a red, yellow, and green chart, and if you were on green for the entire week you got a prize from the prize bin. Of course this had its problems. There would always be the misbehaving kid that would never have an entire green week even if he or she tried, and there was the teacher’s pet that somehow always got a prize even if they didn’t really deserve it.

If this didn’t even fully work back then – kids still didn’t listen and people were still mean to one another – why are they bringing something so similar back now we’re in high school? Why are we giving out bulldog bucks?

Now before you get all angry at me for slamming down on something that gives you money or lets you get free lunches, trust me. I like that stuff as much as anyone, if not moreso. But think about the goal that is trying to be reached: students being kinder, better people to one another as well as the teachers and environment around them.

Is some blue piece of paper going to help with that?

I know for a fact that, even as you get older, your maturity doesn’t necessarily grow with your height. It actually seems to decrease if anything, but bringing something so elementary back into a place that promised to be the opposite isn’t going to solve that. I guess the idea of the Bulldog Buck is to suggest that doing the average is good, or even above and beyond expectations.

Since when have expectations been so low?

People get nothing for bringing animals to shelters, feeding the homeless, volunteering to help those in need. Those people seem to expect so little. Do I deserve anything for helping that kid pick up his books? Even if I don’t know him, it isn’t anything but common courtesy. Even if he hates me, it isn’t anything more than the right thing to do. Yet if I did happen to do that oh so generous action in front of a teacher that follows the Bulldog Bucks belief, I would get rewarded. The theory is that the next time, even when there isn’t a teacher around, I’ll be more likely to help because it is mere routine.

But is that realistic?

It was nothing more than coincidence that I made that decision last time. For all anyone knows, I could be stressed or just too selfish to help next time. We’re teenagers and not many of us truly think of others first. This is just a waste of paper. This isn’t possible or very likely, but couldn’t some kid just be doing this exceptional behavior because there is a teacher watching? Isn’t it kind of favoritism?  Could I have one Bulldog Buck, but I ask a friend and they have seven.  Are they actually a better person than me? Have they done more than me, or did they simply do more than me in front of someone with authority?

And what about the real ones? What about the person that is always kind to others and never thanked never appreciated. What if they are left in the dust and get nothing? What if that “popular” obnoxious guy who always stabs the back of your head with a pencil is the one that gets the Bulldog Buck? What if the teachers favor certain kids for some reason?

Ultimately what scares me more is not the fact that the school decided to put Bulldog Bucks into play; that’s their decision.  It’s the fact that they believe that we, as young audlts, need them.  We need them to stay in line or just be even better people. We should be good people without the need of praise.

Let’s not take away Bulldog Bucks, but be Bulldogs without the buck.

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
POINT: We can be Bulldogs without the buck