The State Boys Rebellion
Q1. Please explain what the term “self-fulfilling prophecy” means and how it played out for many of the characters in the book such as Fred Boyce, Joey Almeida, and the Gagne brothers.
The story relates to a group of American students who faced a tremendous oppression and bad conditions in the school. This made them to become rebellious and hence the book of D’Antonio gives us the ways through which they achieved their freedom. In this context, we come across the determined boys who knew about their rights. In addition, they were ready to fight for them in order to live peacefully and have a comfortable learning environment. Their rights were the key to their freedom that they needed. Therefore, they were ready to fight in any situation to gain their desired freedom that was undermined by the occurrence of the cold war influence. The evils in which these activists were against included separating children from their parents with a claim that they were unwanted orphans. In this way, these children were forced into joining institutions that abused them and denied them the right of education. At last, the fighting by the activists resulted to the multimillion-dollar arrangement scheme, which granted them a resettlement.
The self-fulfilling prophesy is a self-initiative concept that works with belief and hopes of the individuals. The expectation that an individual will approve his actions to be correct or wrong defines the outcome of an event. In other words, the label that you give to an individual will determine his behavior. For example, if you adopt a tendency of abusing or calling your child a criminal, then your child will start having a mentality of a criminal and thus his behavior will change to become or relate to that of a criminal. This self-fulfilling prophesies do not commonly apply to children but also to the older people. This concerns the perception that an individual will rate him or herself by their social ethics. In this case, if you relate yourself with bad things or you take yourself to be a bad person, then this gives you a character of a bad person. In addition, the negative or positive thinking of an individual can transform his life according to the belief that he or she has on himself or on others. Therefore, the idea of labeling is a sensitive factor that should be handled with a lot of care when it regards to young persons
Characters such as Fred Boyce, Joey Almeida and the Gagne Brothers have been affected by the labeling that resulted to their self-fulfilling prophesy. A closer look of Fred who since his infancy had acquired awards of excellence shows a perfect example of children who were not affected by negligence of their learning institutions. In this case, these boys were determined regardless of life oppressions thus their dreams would not die but stood the test of time. Many institutions during those times had a lot of segregation and ignorance on students who had health problems. In addition, there involvement of the racial segregation was also a major challenge that affected the self-esteem of many children during those learning times. Many of these practices imparted a discouraging factor in the life of many children hence affecting the desires and personal goals of the students.
For the strong students who preserve their motivating element, they usually achieve their goals and objectives. This is facilitated through having the power and strength to face challenging circumstances and later remain unchanged. Sequentially, the motivating factor became the hope in which they embraced always irrespective of the changing circumstances that may have effects on the preserved goal. The labels that were posted on the disabled children and the black students possessed the mockery character that had a discouraging influence on the student’s academics.
Therefore, the labeling aspects had a lot of influence during the era of the state boys’ rebellion. In many aspects, this influence had a discouraging element to the lives of children due to its negative character. Thus, the reforms that followed the rebellion were significant in recognizing the young people’s rights and freedoms. Institutions were to be revived in order to bring change in the lives of many young people who had despaired in life due to the bad labeling. Therefore, the motivating factor in the children’s life is determined by the labeling. In order to develop a strategy that will influence the lives of many discouraged people, it is important to eliminate the bad labeling that has been posted in an individual.
The negative self-prophesy is disadvantageous whereby; a negative label has been associated with an individual. This is because the discouraging element of the libel may bring a daunting weight, which may result to failure. Thus, “it is vital to have consideration on the emotions of the students and also give them maximum attention” (D’Antonio, 2004). This act will make them feel recognized in which they will now be satisfied because they have developed a sense of belonging. Consequently, in a learning institution, it is essential to promote equality using necessary materials such as the school uniform. The course teaching materials should be administered to the students in an equal basis thus eliminating unfair practices that favor the bright students.
In the adolescent stage, many young people want to be recognized or to be associated with particular grouping that translate that they have grown or matured. This gives them an understanding that they have grown and hence they should no longer be treated like children. Therefore, this becomes a sensitive stage whereby the young people can easily be rebellious if their demands or expectations are violated. The sexual harassment in the ‘State Boys Rebellion’ was another factor that contributed to the uprising. The student’s protection was not emphasized in the school due to the ignorance of the school’s staff.
Q2. Do you feel the Fred Boyce, Joey Almeida and Gagne brothers of today’s world would fare better (and be specific)? Why or why not?
My feeling was that Fred Boyce, Joey Almeida and Gagne brothers of today’s world would not fare better. This is with respect to the awareness of children’s right that has been emphasized on the modern form of education system. The alcoholism, poverty, and unemployment factors that dominated the Fernald School had a bad effect on the entire students. This is because many students in the school were involved in the social evils thus the learning environment was hard to be realized. Many of the students who were admitted in that school were orphans and others had been neglected by the society. Therefore, the students suffered from social trauma, which made them to behave according to their self-fulfilling prophesy that had been associated with them.
The school administration did not take into considerations the social welfare of the students. In this situation, many students felt oppressed and mistreated, an act that triggered to the uprising because there was violation of humanity rights and freedom. The lack of seriousness and concern of the higher office in the institution was a sensitive element that deprived the rights of the students. The student’s behavior was because of the poor administration that lacked accountability and the sense of responsibility. However, the school was concerned with achieving the personal goals of the leader. The mistreatment of the students by the staff of the school led to the rise of much unacceptable behavior in the institution, which had harmful effects on the student’s academics.
The development of labels in the school geared reflected the students’ performance and in the behavioral state of the students. In this respect, the top leadership of the school had a terrible way of dealing with problems, which involved abusive language. Furthermore, most of the abusive language has the tendency of imparting or associating people with horrible labels. In this case, the behavior of the students will be determined by the teacher’s words. For instance, when the teacher or a parent develops an abusive language towards his child, there is a reflection of the abuse on the child’s life. Hence, the child starts behaving according to the abuse that has been associated with him or her.
Young people have the character of giving up whereby they tend to assume that things are out of control. As this feeling continues, there is the realization of gradual change in the motivating factor of the child. Thus, the student’s potential to excel declines because of the negative labeling on him or her. Students end up suffering from low self-esteem and hence they are unable to achieve their goals because they do not have the motivating element in their lives. Every young person has a desire in which he hopes to achieve in the future and hence he works tirelessly to achieve it through academics. Thus, when the effort towards achieving this dreams are suppressed, the child turns to be violent and develops a negative attitude towards academics. This is because it is through learning that a student predicts his or her future dream. When a student or a young person is supported in achieving his dreams, he develops a positive attitude that relatively moulds his life with happiness. Labeling can be done by individuals or by the other external factor. Thus, in order to achieve the maximum level of satisfaction, it is important to make both labels positive.
Fear was another factor that dominated the lives of these students because they felt they had no rights since the society had rejected them. In addition, there was a notion that the society would not accept them even if they get educated due to the social errors that were attached to their past lives. Therefore, Fred Boyce, Joey Almeida and Gagne brothers of today’s world would not fare well. Consequently, the fight for recognition among the modern youth of today could not be accommodated during the period of the Fernald School. This could result to lack of motivation among the young hence leading to failure in academics and in the personal ambitions.
Poverty in the society is a major barrier to quality education. In this case, the orphans or the less fortunate students face a lot of societal segregation simply because they cannot afford the basic quality education. Therefore, many parents irrespective of the bad news about a school will opt to keep their children in those schools due to their low financial status. This gives the student a hard time of adjusting in the environment that is full of discouragement. Numerous students in this school end up acquiring low marks in their academics because they are fighting with the dispiriting factor in the school. The conduct of those schools is not regulated because there is no concern that is offered by the top leadership. Hence, the student’s priority is ignored and sequentially there is a decline in the performance of the student.
The allegation that education in those schools was an act of mercy made many students to be denied the right to education. Commonly, the human necessities were the only issue to be emphasized in those schools because many students come from poor families where food was a great problem. The modern child could not cope with this kind of education system because of the issue of career selection. Recent forms of education have emphasized on the favorable learning environment that dictates that a student should be provided with an enabling environment of studying. This way, the level of academics has improved due to the high influence and the involvement of the government. In addition, the children have been made aware of their rights and hence, the priority in the school is the children’s education. Therefore, the flexibility of the education system that the modern student has adopted could not make him or her survive in the Fernald State School.
D’Antonio, M. (2004). The State Boys Rebellion. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster