It was during my last year in high school when it all started. Having gone through the education system for so many years, students in my class had learned to recognize what works and what does not work when it came to dealing with the school administration. Obviously,the experiences we have had in school had sharpened our skills when it came to analyzing situations. We had learned how to look at situations, analyze them, and derive conclusions from them. Though we had our differences as students, there was one belief that we all held.
We believed that the school administration would never listen to our grievances if we used the right channel to air our concerns. Almost all students in my class shared this belief. In addition, we believed that we had the power to control the rest of the students if we were to mobilize them to take part in a strike. At that particular time of the school term, many students had shown great concern about certain issues in the school. These concerns had been expressed to the school administration through the class representatives, but it seemed to us that very little was being done to address our concerns.
A class meeting triggered the students’ thoughts about an alternative channel of airing our concerns. After a one hour class meeting, most students in class had agreed on one thing. That there was urgent need for our concerns to be addressed by the school administration sooner than later. In order to do this, the class members agreed on leading a students’ strike. Not even one of us disagreed. The concerns that had been raised must have been very pressing to all of us.
Some of the issues that we felt needed to be addressed included the low quality of school food and too much assignment from our teachers. To many students, the administration was in a position to address these problems, but it had deliberately decided not to. Therefore, the strike would no doubt put pressure on the administration according to our thoughts. After settling for a strike as the solution, there was need for the class to decide on how to mobilize the whole school to take part in the strike without any of the students reporting to the administration about the plan.
Though many suggestions were given about this, it was agreed that only the most trustworthy students would be informed about the plans before the day of the strike. For the rest of the school, we would mobilize the students on the material day. The class was convinced that, since many students shared similar grievances with us, they would willingly join us in the strike. According to the plans, the strike was meant to be peaceful, and destruction of school property was to be avoided completely. The strike was to take place two days after the meeting.
When the day came, things started exactly as they had been planned. To begin with, all students were to boycott learning before the first lesson of the day began. This is what happened. Though some students had earlier been confused about what was happening, they came to realize what was happening very fast. Just as forecasted, most students joined us in the strike. The second move after boycotting the classes was for the students to match towards the administration block, from where we would demand for solutions to our problems.
Unfortunately, convincing the whole school to match towards the administration block became more difficult than we had anticipated. Though several students had been given the responsibility to ensure that the other students were directed accordingly, it became very hard for them to control students who were rowdy. The school compound was filled with shouts and screams which were meant to express the students’ dissatisfaction with the school administration. A few minutes later, several window panes had been smashed by some students.
Suddenly, there was confusion and everything seemed to be moving very fast. The smashing of the window panes was followed by burning up of some desks outside the classrooms. What was happening had already proved our belief in strike as the best channel of communication wrong. The worst was still to come. By this time, the school principal had already notified the police on what was happening and just before the police arrived to help restore order in the school, the most tragic thing occurred. One male student had been stabbed by a fellow classmate, and he was bleeding profusely.
It was alleged that the victim had tried to stop the other student from dragging out his desk in order to burn it outside the classroom. The event had turned into a nightmare. There were screams for help, which could be heard in the school compound. Many students rushed to the scene, with those who had been trained in first aid attempting to give first aid to the victim by trying to reduce the bleeding. The school principal must have been informed of the tragic occurrence, because the school ambulance was at the scene of the accident within no time.
The school nurses assisted in putting the patient in the ambulance. There was one thing for sure, that most of us had never seen so much bleeding in our lives. This scared me so much. At this stage, regret was filled in our scared faces. As the ambulance sped off, all students were no longer concerned with the strike. The events of the day had turned the strike into one of the most tragic event of our lives. While some students sat silently in class, others were crying. The school compound was suddenly quiet, owing to the remorse that many of us felt.
After twenty minutes, all students were asked to assemble at the administration block. When everyone was assembled, the principal broke the bad news. The student who had been stabbed had passed away. To many of us, we could not understand how a students’ strike had turned so tragic. After all, students were supposed to be responsible and were never meant to harm their fellow students. Whether we understood or not, our conviction about a strike was no longer true based on our experience. Our belief that a strike was the best channel of seeking solutions to our problems was proved wrong.
Furthermore, our conviction that a strike would never fail when the involved people were disciplined was a miscalculation. This completely changed my belief about strikes. Conclusion In life, we hold certain assumptions, ideas, or customs . We tend to look at them as facts, which can never be false. These assumptions may be based on our own experiences, what we hear, and what we learn from the others. However, sometimes our experiences can make us reread our beliefs, ideas, or customs. The above experience that I had in school changed my perception about strike up to date.