As we all know, Science Leadership Academy is run a little differently than most schools. We are not a public or private institution, but a partnership high school between the School District of Philadelphia and The Franklin Institute. Our partnership with The Franklin is key to having our school run successfully. Not only does TFI provide our school with funds to keep it running, but also provides our freshmen class with interesting mini-courses. The freshmen class’ presence there during these courses have actually always caused some issues.
Rumors flew through the halls that the newest class of freshmen have seem to fall into the unwanted tradition of getting the lecture from Mr. Lehman in the cafe about bad behavior at TFI. It sparked some unpleasant memories back to when this year’s class of seniors were freshmen as we also endured this same lecture. Our situation seemed to have been the worst case, though, as it led to a suspension. We all know that in order for someone to have actually been suspended from SLA the behavior must’ve been extreme. Therefore, in honor of the new rumors I decided to take us back in time a little to show how this seems to be an ongoing problem.
It was the beginning of freshman year of 2012. We all heard Lehman’s stern voice, something we didn’t hear that often being as we all seen him as a pretty cool principal compared to what we were all used to, come over the loudspeaker as he asked for all freshmen to come down to the cafe. We were warned that our bad behavior at The Franklin was unacceptable and had to stop. Most of us weren’t exactly sure what event sparked the lecture, but we all realized it was bad once we noticed one of our missing classmates.
Anonymous senior takes the time to explain the real story about what happened back when he was a freshman. “A woman came upstairs as a bunch of us were acting up. She had some words with me and then I responded in some worse words. I ended up being suspended from school and I received an F as my grade in TFI.”
He then went on to talk about why he feels these problems seem to occur every year between TFI and the freshmen. “As a freshmen, you leave for TFI with all of the upperclassmen laughing and mocking you as you walk out the door. It gives this mindset that it is a joke. You also see all of the upperclassmen talking about how they don’t really go to their ILP’s and how they don’t spend time during Wednesday’s working on capstones. It just seemed unfair that the rest of the school basically got a half day every week but we didn’t. It just made us not want to go or be there at all.”
Aside from whether or not these kids want to be there or not, their behavior, just as ours was, is unacceptable. Our relationship with TFI is important to the continuation and success of our school and we owe them a lot for everything they do for us. This type of behavior is really a smack in the face to them. The senior’s advice was just to “never do anything worse than the class before you”, but, I think the goal needs to be much higher than this. We need to realize all that they do and show our appreciation. As a school, we need to display behavior that has the incoming freshmen take their experience at TFI much more seriously. But mainly, we need to grow up.