What shall you do when you can not listen at the lesson because of your scornful and rude colleagues?

I received a question from a student who is concerned for her final exams results, she can not learn because of some rude and scornful colleagues from her classroom:

I study in the 10th grade in High School and I have three colleagues exceedingly rude and scornful. At every lesson they are making a lot of noise, swearing, quarreling and behave so, as if the teacher is not in the classroom. We can not hear anything that we are taught and so happens every hour. I can not understand the subject we are taught, just as the teachers can not teach in such a context. When I think of the baccalaureate exam, I am scared, because I am unlikely to take it. What do you advise me to do? I realize that I must do something, but I do not know what …

This is a very serious problem and, as far as I know, is now widespread in schools across the country. Perhaps it is a result of excessive promotion of the rights of students, without necessarily focusing on their duties. Perhaps it is a result of the exaggerations made in the campaign to combat violence in schools. The fact is that the actions of those insolent and scornful colleagues affect not only you, but the whole class now and in future the whole society will suffer more, because of those who show mocking behavior and insolence, without being stopped. I realize the heart of the teachers when they come to teach these students, as they have to face such situations.  The insolence of these scornful students is a manifestation of contempt both to the teachers and, perhaps, even to themselves. I advise you to do the following:

1. Face the rude and scornful colleagues

Even if you have little hope that the discussion with them will bring some result, it is important to go and tell them that you can not learn and no one can learn with such a noisy background, that you ask them to behave in a courteous way and sit quietly so that both you and your colleagues can learn the lesson. It might happen that after this discussion you will be scorned by them, because the Bible says:

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. (Proverbs 9:7)(NASB)

You, however, do not behave like them and do not answer with disrespect. Follow the example of the Lord Jesus as the Scripture exhorts us:

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. (1 Peter 2:21-25)(NASB)

However, you should firstly talk to them, separately, before telling others about them. That is right and God teaches us this in the Holy Scriptures, that we must firstly talk with the person against whom we have something and if it fails, only then you can go to others who must intervene. And another important point: do not talk with them when they are all together, but try to talk to each one separately, because pride and arrogance is what makes them rude and scornful and, because they want to look great before each other, they will despise you even more if you rebuke all of them at once. To be sure that pride is what makes them behave as you see, take heed what God means when He says:

“Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names, Who acts with insolent pride. (Proverbs 21:24)(NASB)

I would love to know that the discussion will have the wanted effect to change the behavior of the naughty ones, but if not, then …

2. Discuss with your classmates

If their noise bothers you so much in class, surely there are other students who want to learn, but can not, because of the same cause. Discuss with them and find their opinion. Perhaps it would be appropriate for someone else to face them or maybe when you are all together in the classroom, to raise the issue in the presence of the insolent and scornful and to ask them to respect you, their teachers and not to create problems during the lessons. This principle is written in the Bible:

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. (Matthew 18:15-16)(NASB)

If they will not listen …

3. Introduce the problem to the formmaster

You must go with a group of students from your class and present the problem to the formmaster, but not in the presence of the rude and scornful colleagues, but in a separate discussion. It is important to make the formmaster aware that things can not continue so, because you are unable to learn anything. Tell him/her that you have had private conversations with your rude and scornful colleagues, then you tried to talk to them with the whole class, but it gave no effect. The responsibilities of the formmaster is to provide with a favorable climate for your school success. If nothing will be changed even after the intervention of the formmaster, you will have to …

4. Go to the school principal

Together with the same group in your class who can not tolerate such a state of things, go to the school principal and tell him about the problem, what you have done and then ask him to intervene to resolve the situation. If, for some reason, no changes will occur and the bad ones and scoffers will continue to behave the same way…

5. Fill in an application to be transferred to another class or school

Besides the fact that you can not learn, this behavior will affect your future character and happiness. In the book of Psalms it says:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers. (Psalms 1:1)(NASB)

Probably you already see how some of your classmates have been influenced by the rude and scornful ones and began to practice the same  deeds and show the same attitude. Precisely for this reason you need to leave the class and go to another class or school.

IMPORTANT: Put your hope in God

I suppose you can expect from the rude and scornful colleagues to create you some problems or intimidate you. Put all your trust in God and do not let yourself be controlled by fear. Pray God to give you courage and wisdom in all that you will be doing and do not stop on half of the way.

I invite students, teachers, parents and anyone else who faced with such situations to express their opinions or experiences regarding this subject.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru