• Mahgdalen Rose

American High Schools Are Preparing Students To Be Professionally Outraged “Activists”

Are you outraged about something? You probably are, everyone is. Did you ever wonder why that is and where this professional culture of outrage came from?

The answer is American high schools. They aren’t preparing students for college. They’re preparing them to be professionally outraged. Students sitting in classrooms in high schools across America are told day in and day out about all the issues plaguing the world (from politics to access to clean water in third world countries) and how important it is for them to know about them. Yet, they aren’t told how to fix them or even where to look for answers for possible solutions.

Instead of graduating High School prepared to tackle the issues they care about, all they graduate knowing is how to be outraged about them. This is what’s responsible for the outrage culture that drives so much of the division and tension in this Country. High schools are supposed to prepare students for college and the workforce, but that takes real work. It’s much easier to just stick to textbook curriculum and a series of topics that will draw interest (and eventually outrage) from students (think politics and social issues).

What I’m saying here isn’t theoretical. I have sat in my seat in an American high school and have been fed a daily diet of issues to be outraged about. Yet what always stood out to me was the discussions surrounding issues teachers knew the most about, being devoid of any dialogue about solving said issues.

Imagine being a young person and being told about all the issues that were endangering the world and bringing injustice, and then never hearing how to solve them or where to look for solutions; that would be frustrating, wouldn’t it? And just maybe that frustration would morph into outrage.

In the past couple of years, adults have questioned why so many young people are professional activists and why even among those young people, so few have made real change. I believe this is due to these young people learning in High School how to care passionately about an issue but never how to solve it. When that occurs, you get an entire generation of professionally outraged young “activists.”

Article by Mahgdalen Rose

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