It’s no tall tale from fantasy high school movies that hierarchy in schools can be a problem. From what locker you get, to where you can sit at lunch, to extracurriculars. Some people may even feel that discrimination follows them around.
There are levels to the “high school totem pole,” such as the popular kids, the unpopular kids, the crowd-hoppers, and the loners. All of these types of people have personality traits and physical characteristics that put them in the groups they are in.
In New Haven High School we have the same system, whether or not it’s visible. Many students believe that there is stratification existing in the school.
As a self-considered “crowd-hopper,” I am fine with being friends with everyone, but even I feel the brutality of inequality sometimes. In order to raise awareness and drive change against this ongoing problem, I sent out a survey to gauge students’ opinions on this. What follows are some of the responses.
When asked if they think that New Haven High School has a social hierarchy, 62% of people said yes, 29% of people said no, and 9% of people said they are not sure.
When asked what group people think that they fit into, 22% of people said they felt “popular,” 28% said they felt “unpopular,” and 50% said they felt that they didn’t even belong in a group.
When asked why they felt they belonged in that particular group, some students said they felt “popular” because “I play sports” or “I am in many clubs”. Some people said they felt “unpopular” because “I don’t play sports” or “I have an awkward personality”.
Many other questions were asked, but the ideas boiled down to the same conclusions. Social hierarchy isn’t a fantasy-- it’s real, and it’s all around us. But by raising awareness and spreading the idea of equality, we can do our parts to change the ongoing problem of social hierarchy.