Cliques (Sassy, April 1989)

Cliques (Sassy, April 1989)

Navigating the cliques in high school has always been a bit daunting. My High School, Cardozo HS in Bayside, Queens was quite a bit larger than the school profiled here (we had approximately 3,000 students), and probably about two dozen cliques. Still, this is a pretty accurate synopsis of the various high school tribes you'd come across. 


We sent Laura Norton to Roosevelt High, this public school in Yonkers, NY that has about 1,200 students and six bit time cliques. She hun out all day with kids from each group, and got them to talk about themselves and each other. And boy, did they talk.



All week we practice together. Saturday we play together. Saturday night we enjoy our victory together. We spend our entire lives together. - Dom

If we have a good game on Saturday and everyone's talking about it, they [non-Jocks] are jealous. Because you're a good player and they don't like to do anything. They're just lazy. - Ray

I love being active. When I'm not cheering I do something else, and when I'm not doing that I do cheering. It helps you stay in school 'cause school is not the most interesting place. - Tinisha

When you think of a cheerleader, you think right away, oh, she's stuck-up. But other girls just say that because they want to be like you and they can't. - Grace

You feel intimidated sometimes when they [Brains] are in class and, well, "Pi equals X times this and the square root of that is this" - Ray

I don't think they [other students] realize you have to be smart to play football. - Dan


We want to work, they [other students] don't. We want to compete and get ahead, and they don't really want to do that. - Barbara

I find it hard to understand why other students just can't go to class. Even if they apply themselves just a little bit, I'm sure they can get ahead. - George

Everybody thinks I'm neurotic, which is basically true. I mean, they know I study, 'cause when I come in after pulling all-nighters it's kind of obvious, but I don't study all the time. I mean, you know, I have a life outside of school. - Rachel

I'm sure that there are probably some people in school, who, if they don't really know me, just see my average and that I'm the valedictorian, and think all I do is study all night. But I don't study as much as they think. - John

I'm the queen of the all-nighters. On my birthday I didn't even get dressed. I spent the entire day in bed studying because I had a huge test the next day. - Julie



When you're classified as a Cool it means you dress good, you got the hair spray, you're into cars. I don't mind it, really. Everyone is classified as something, whether you like it or not. - Louis

People misunderstand me when I go out with my friends, like to a nightclub. I might look like I'm easy or something, going up to a bunch of guys and talking to them - no, seriously. But when people come up and talk to me they're like, "You're totally different than what we thought." - Carol

We go to clubs every Friday and Saturday night. There's this huge strip that runs about a mile that has stores on either side. There's usually a couple hundred kids hanging out, and everyone's cruisin' up and down with their cars. - Louis

The teachers don't think we have an attitude, but they think that we think that we can get away with more. - Chrissy



Everybody looks at us and assumes we're into satanism and we're in love with death. They assume that just by the way we look. I think it's wrong. - Mike

Most Jocks are pretty cool, but some varsity football players get really stuck up. They think they're like, better, stronger, you know, like they're tough. - Bill

We're better than them [other students]. We're ourselves. We're not posers. - Tom

A lot of people think that Metalheads are into just art and music. But I'm into psychology, too. I told one of my friends and she was like, "Yeah, okay, I could see you teaching psychology in 10 years" and I was, like, "Thanks a lot." - Nicole

A lot of the Cools are into going out with guys for material reasons, like because he has a nice car. We go out with a guy even if he has no car. - Cindy

Metal rules over all. People should just listen to it and give it a chance. 'Cause they'd probably like it. - Laurie



I like being in the U.S. because I have so many opportunities. You can buy a lot of things, you can go to college and you can get a job. In Poland, even if you got a job after college, you wouldn't make much money. - Darek

The first time I came here I didn't know any English. I didn't have any friends and I wanted to go back to my country. - José

My father always wanted for all of his children to be educated in America. We come to America and we grow here, educate here and then go back to Pakistan. - Nazia

Once you talk to them [other students] and get along with them, they're friendly. They help you with anything. - Uvania

One day I was talking Spanish on the bus with a friend , and a person who didn't speak Spanish thought that I was talking about him. And then he wanted me to fight him. The bus driver saved me! - José

It was hard at the beginning, believe me. But I worked and I learned. - Nazia


We're like, outcasts here, because it's mainly a Cool town. If you drive a Jetta, it's like, "Ooo, Mommy's car." Down here you need an IROC. - Eric

I'm friends with a lot of Metalheads. I guess that's just the way they want to dress. But when they spike their hair I don't know. I can't get into that. - Richard

 They [Jocks] walk around like they own the school. Roosevelt is known for its football and winning, and then when they lose they realize, yeah, all good things do come to an end. - Melissa

The only reason we're not considered Cools is because we don't have our hair pushed all the way back, we don't wear that Gold's Gym stuff and aren't into working out. They waste half a can of hair spray on their heads. - Richard

They [other students] say we're preppie, a little on the snooty side artificial, fake. But I like to dress. It's like, whatever I touch usually matches. - Sean

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