House Rules Will Only be Effective if You Make Them
It would appear as if the House Rules for Seaholm have finally been established. That’s fantastic news. It’s good to see that Birmingham Voice is willing to put so much effort into bettering Seaholm as a school and as a community. There’s only praise to be had for Birmingham Voice for being willing to speak out and undertake the beginning steps of changing the community.
That’s exactly the right kind of message to be delivering, after all. It inspires the community to change for the better, by showing that there are fellow students willing to take the challenge and rise to the occasion. It’s the kind of message that becomes stronger as more and more people follow it, in turning inspiring more to adopt the message.
And yet, there’s a very simple problem with the House Rules: they aren’t enough as they currently are. To be blunt, they currently amount to nothing more than words on paper. To go about the school, posting up the freshly-established House Rules would do alarmingly little, if anything, for the sake of change.
Indeed, it would seem that though the idea of the House Rules is solid, and the rules themselves undeniably point toward the establishment of a brighter future for Seaholm, the execution is lacking severely.
All the delinquents, hooligans, and ne’er-do-wells of Seaholm will pay little heed to the Rules if they are merely thrown onto a piece of paper, copied 70 or 80 times, and then taped to a wall here or there. That method is far too passive – it cannot ensure that the House Rules will even be considered, let alone followed.
The fact of the matter is that an idea like House Rules for our school warrants far more than just that. In order for House Rules to be effective, they need to serve as more than mere guidelines. They need to be a call to action. They need to not only establish ground rules for the community to follow, but to make people understand that the following of these rules is of critical importance.
It goes beyond just that, however – the rules themselves need to be expressed in a manner that emphasizes the symbolism behind the entire movement. The rules, after all, demonstrate an entire community’s ability to change, and to cleanse itself of flaws like intolerance and hate. Though it may start with a small group of kids, it appeals to the entire good nature of the Seaholm community – a community that’s already proven in the past that it does have goodness.
And do words on paper really have that sort of effect? Absolutely not. This scenario has already played out at Groves, with questionable success. The problem here lies not with the idea itself. The idea can only bring about a better Seaholm. But it almost goes without saying that perhaps the execution of Birmingham Voice’s House Rules could use some revision.