Are students’ moral values in decline?

At the end of our school’s Easter assembly, a couple of teachers took to the stage to admonish the students for their misbehaviour—namely, cheating on tests in organised groups, shouting out foul language on campus and showing disrespect to teachers online. One of the teachers in charge of discipline then expressed his displeasure. The talk amongst the teaching staff afterwards was about the apparent decline in student values.

Personally, I am not so sure there has been a decline. I’ve seen a lot of similar misbehavior over the years, especially with regard to cheating and showing disrespect. Hearing foul language around the school is a relatively new problem, but I think it is mainly just coming from a handful of  students.

What is disappointing is that almost every year the school has had as one of its two or three major concerns the idea of helping students develop stronger moral values. Every year, there are slogans (Learn to learn, learn to respect; Appreciation and Acceptance*, Responsibility and Respect) and campaigns, but these don’t seem to have much effect. If anything, as students progress through the forms, they seem to be picking up bad habits rather than getting rid of them.  Why is this?

(*Or was it achievement? I sometimes get my slogans mixed up.)

The school emphasizes a culture of appreciation and respect, but I wonder how effectively the school itself models this culture. Do our teachers always show respect to the students? Do they sometimes belittle students? Do they sometimes spread gossip?

Another problem at the school is that some students apparently don’t want to be shown respect. For example, one recurring problem in the English Corner is that the executives are late for duty and leave a bunch of students waiting outside to get in. Some executives do it once; after they reminded of their duties and asked to be punctual, they don’t do it again. Other executives, in contrast, will continue to be late until they get shouted at. Then, and only then, do they take punctuality seriously. Why do some of our students only take things seriously when they are being aggressively shouted at? How can students expect to be respected if they only respond to severe scoldings?

What do you think? Are students worse than in previous years in terms of their moral attitudes, values and behavior? What can the school do to instill a stronger sense of moral values in its students? Why do some students only respond to scoldings, threats and/or punishment?

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14 thoughts on “Are students’ moral values in decline?

  1. I think the students were really worse than in previous years in terms of their moral attitudes, values and behavior obviously.

    Try to compare these two years, there were less bullying, less students talking foul languages…etc.I think it is a quite serious problem that our school gets such great changes in a short period.

    I think the school shall inform parents immediately whenever discovering cyber-bullying, cheating….and let their parents to teach them.Besides punishment, I think the school shall explained to the punished students why they were wrong patiently and let them understand, so as to instill a stronger sense of moral values of students.

  2. In my opinion, there is absolutely a decline in students’ moral value. Lamwooers are known as hard-working and polite students but it seems that the impressions are wrong. Foul language is common among students. However, it is not only happening in our school but also in the society. Most of the teenagers now are less responsible. Lateness is not unusual anymore, (well, maybe only some students). Maybe it is because the technology today is too good that people become lazy.

  3. As I has just studied in Lamwoo for two years, I don’t really know are the students nowadays in Lamwoo has become worse than in previous years in terms of their behaviours. However, I think teenagers being not responsible and disrespect to the others are not only happened in Lamwoo. I think foul language is common among teenagers in Hong Kong. As i know, most of the secondary students, even from band one school, will say foul language. Also, I think nowadays parents spoil their children and it will make them become not responsible and disrespect. Therefore, I think parents take a important role for teaching their children to have a correct moral value and behave well.

  4. I think the students behaviour nowadays are worse than the pervious years.More students do bad behaviour.(e.g. cyber-bulling and saying foul language). I think these behaviour can’t be accepted.
    Foul language appears in different platforms, just like facebook. Also, the resbonsibility of students are bad,they do not submit their homework on time. At last, I hope they will behave well.

  5. Personally, I think that the bad moral values have not really worsened in the whole school, but only from a handful of students. I believe that most Lam Woo students have good moral attitudes, but only some students make it feel that the whole situation has worsened. Showing disrespect and saying foul language is not really a new problem, although I think cheating is quite surprising to be heard.

    Referring to Mr Richards mentioning the problem of executives being late and them being shouted at to be punctual, I think that’s because when they’re late for the first time, they don’t receive a punishment or scolding, that’s why they don’t take it seriously, and they think that it doesn’t matter being late. But when are scolded, they finally think that they should be punctual, just to avoid scolding (maybe)..I think this problem is hard to be solved. It just reflects each person’s moral values. If they are scolded but they still won’t listen, it’s their own problem.

  6. I think that students’ moral values are in decline, not only in Lam Woo, but also in Hong Kong. In the recent years, more Lam Woo students violate the rules, like touching other’s sex organs or bullying. Some of them were even caught out of the school campus, because the resident recognized the “LV” logo. I think this may destroy the good reputition of Lam Woo students. So I think students should behave themselves and don’t violate the school rules.

  7. Actually I think that we should be facing this problem very seriously. For the first case (speaking foul language), I think that the problem is really serious in the school, or even in the whole world. People just thinkt that these languages are just stuffs that can strengthen their speech and to show that they were angry. So I think that it is a kind of silly thing to do so.

  8. Personally,I think the students’ moral values are in decline.Without doubt,lamwooer are clever,hard-working,responsible.But they seem different in recent year.Their behavior become bad and disappoint us. Maybe it is not happen in Lamwoo,the students’ moral values are also in decline in other schools too. Actually, I think bullying,telling lies,speak foul language shouldn’t happen in Lamwoo.As you know,bullying is illegal and telling lies are meaningless.
    In short, I think lamwooer should be in a high moral standard.And they really need parents and teachers’ assistance.

  9. Yep, I completely agree with you. Maybe it is that they enjoy the material life and are spoilt too much, it makes them become very rebellious and proud. Due to their pride, they may think, “Teachers? They are just idiots!” and look down on teachers, and their peers also.

    Maybe it is the advancement of the technology. To critisize somebody and want him to know, Facebook is a good channel. The insult causes inferiority complex and fury arises, and that is what the criticiser wants. The hostile criticism is sometimes so ironic that it makes the victims diffident.

    Obviously, they are not considerate and too self-centered. School authorities didn’t influence them much, since the majority of the students ignore it!

    To deter this problem, besides setting up a harsh punishment, honour code may work. But the most important thing is that they attempt to be sympathetic. Imagine a world where people were all self-centered, would it be peaceful…?

  10. I think that the students’ moral values is decreasing now. Most of the students started to play some tricks on other classmates, some of them even play some tricks related to sex. It’s really serious and it’s offen happen in school. They don’t know how to respect others and they just think that play tricks on others is funny. I really hope that they can have self-regulation and I want them to stop doing this kind of things, it’s really worse!

  11. I think there are a deline in student’s moral. They usually talk foul language may be because they think speaking foul language is cool. One of the qualities of Lamwooer is responsibility but I think few of them can achieve this goal.Although our teachers try hard to teach them of respecting others, they could hardly do this. May be it is because the cultral changes in the society and teenagers are influenced by this.In my points of view, they should learn how to be self-deciplined but not to be self-centred.

  12. Yes, I agree that the students’ moral value is declining.
    The reason of it is the influence of the widespread misbehaviour of the teenagers on the Internet. When there is more and more misbehaviour and dischief on the Internet, the student would become somehow affected and that would be reflected on the daily life and their attitude towards their teachers and schoolmates.

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