Cliques

Cliques are small groups of between two and twelve people most of the time. Cliques are mall enough that the members feel that they know each other better than do people outside the clique. Members of a clique share common activities and friendships. They are social settings in which adolescents hang out, talk to each other, and form closer friendships. Groups of friends, called cliques can be important for social upgrading, but in most cases the enormous power and effects of these cliques can create alienation, exclusion, and destructive results. In my high school, as well as every other high school in America there are social groups of individuals, called cliques , that effect every individual whether they are an insider or an outsider. Generally there are the cool cliques , the athletic cliques, the punk (goth, freak) clique, the surfer clique, the smart clique, and the average clique. Almost everyone finds their place in one of these cliques, but there are always a few outsiders who go through high school never knowing where they belong. These are the people who are constantly ridiculed, picked on , and talked about day in and day out. The effects can be devastating, even deadly. In Littleton, Colorado two outcast teenagers came into school one day and began shooting, targeting the athletes and other students who had made their lives awful by ridiculing them constantly. Seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold stormed their suburban Denver school with guns and bombs on April 20 1999, killing 12 students and a teacher before taking their own lives. Augustana University education professor Larry Brendtro explained kids who feel powerless and rejected are capable of doing horrible things. A high school student, Jason Sanchez understands why the two outsiders snapped by saying If you go to school, and you dont have friends, it drives you to insanity. So what do these lonely outcast kids do if everyone rejects them? Roger Rosenblatt discusses in his article, Welcome to the Works of the Trench Coat, how kids will discover self-worth by hating an enemy. The kids of Columbine for example look alike; they conceal differences. People who are attracted to clans and cults seek to lose their individuality and discover power and pride in a group. As individuals, the killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were vulnerable, taunted by the other tribes in school– the cliques, the athletes– as geeks and nerds. The end result as a young girl involved in the murders reported was, He just put a gun to my head, and he started laughing and saying it was all because people were mean to him last year. The social warfare of cliques has no limits or boundaries; anything can and will happen. Columbine High School is only one example of how high school cliques can be damaging to teenagers.