Voices of Native Youth

Why Students Become Troublemakers and Slackers (Even Good Ones)

slackers

Ever since I was in elementary school missing recess because everyone was too loud really peeved me. Every day was the same; students caused trouble for the teachers. Even in class they still wouldn’t settle down, and the teacher would give all of us extra work.

By punishing everyone for the misbehavior of a few, the good kids started to feel bad. Teachers need to understand that punishing everyone for one student’s behavior makes the rest of us want to give up.

Teachers need to understand that punishing everyone for one student's behavior makes the rest of us want to give up. #teachers #nativeyouth Click To Tweet

Every day in middle school it got worse than before. Sometimes troublemakers picked a fight with the teachers or started taking their anger out on others.

Whether in class or outside of of class, I just sat and watched them do their mischievous acts every day. I rarely reported them because sometimes they were mean to me and my sisters. Sometimes people around me would be bullied because they snitched on the troublemakers, and I didn’t want this to happen to me. I felt helpless to stop the cycle.

Look for the Reason Why

But maybe teachers need to do what I do before they punish everyone for one student’s behavior. Sometimes I look at the person and wonder how they were before they got labeled a troublemaker. I ask myself, “Why do they do this?”

Have you ever wondered why some kids don't do well in school? A high-school student looks at why kids become troublemakers and slackers. #Nativeyouth #student #dropout

The reason why troublemakers slack off is maybe they don’t like school or maybe it’s their home lives. The more I think about this, the more I feel sorry for them. If they’re having problems at home, they should talk to a counselor. If they don’t like school, they should tell their parents about it, or the teacher themselves.

Students need to deal with the problem instead of making trouble for the teachers and other students. I hate getting punished by having activities cancelled for a few days straight. Sometimes teachers even cancel educational ones, because of one or two students’ bad behavior.

I understand that people have days when they’re upset. Maybe a student or a teacher put them down and they feel that they must take their pain out on others by hurting them as well. Some kids even consider dropping out of school because of their issues at home or their issues at school.

Sometimes they even might just feel dumb being at school or have given up in class. Maybe they’re bored with what the teacher teaches because to them it’s the same thing over and over.

Why do kids become slakers and troublemakers? Maybe it isn't all their fault. #nativeyouth #teachers Click To Tweet

Why Troublemakers don’t Talk

Fighting in some schools is common. Some of the staff look into the cause of the fights so they could find a way to resolve the student conflict. But students don’t always want to explain themselves to adults because maybe they’ve been molested or worse and are afraid to tell someone. Adults need to think about things like that.

Sometimes kids act out because they are trying to punish a teacher for something the teacher did to one of their friends. Or maybe the principal suspended or expelled their friend so they might cause trouble for the teacher because of their missing friend.

The slacker might have a good reputation at school with the teachers, at least, but they sometimes act mean to to their peers.

It all starts in elementary school. Good kids might get in with the wrong crowd and they could end up in loads of trouble. I think the reason why kids slack off is because of their personal struggles, the teachers (sometimes), and being in with the wrong crowd. They learn to not value school and they try to make it interesting, even if they go about it in a strange way.


Kayla is a Navajo high school student who loves drawing, writing, and reading. One day, she’d like to become a writer. Meanwhile, she hates it when things go terribly wrong and when people fight.

9 thoughts on “Why Students Become Troublemakers and Slackers (Even Good Ones)

  1. Kayla, you have some good insight into what might be causing kids to act up in school. Maybe teachers should take time to find out what needs the student may have. By the way, I never thought missing recess was a good idea. Kids need that outdoor time to get fresh air and to move around after sitting at desks for so long. Blessings to you! Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Kayla, you show great wisdom in knowing that outward behavior often is a result of something else completely! There are so many suffering students in today’s classroom who don’t know what to do with their feelings and so act out. You offer good ideas here for them. Keep up the good work!

  3. What I have learned is that usually when kids act out it is because there is a problem. We need to be more aware of what is going on in a person’s life. Even bullies are usually doing the bullying because they are being bullied or life is just really hard. We all need to have people we can talk to about these issues.

    As a student or friend, we need to look for ways to reach out. It could be that person just needs a real friend.

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