Three years of High School? Goodbye Ninth Graders!
The difference between a senior and a freshman is only four years. While that may not seem like a very large difference, the amount of maturing that occurs in these four years is enormous. An 18-year-old is a legal adult, can legally buy cigarettes and gamble, but are still going to school every day with 14-year-olds, kids who have just recently become teenagers. This social setting not only creates an intense pressure for the freshman to be accepted or even ignored by the seniors but also causes them to want to impress them, possibly leaving a negative influence on these kids. At the same time hazing, while being heavily scrutinized against at our school, still occurs to these young kids who are adjusting to a new environment and are prone to self-consciousness.
To have a census of what the feelings at our school are about this idea, I asked a few of our fellow peers what they thought. When asked what she thinks about the idea Noelle Lipschutz said, “I think it would be tough to change the structure of the school like that, but I think it would ultimately end up being a positive thing if it was done right,” Lipschutz said.
The concern of changing the structure is understandable, as there are pros and cons to both sides. Would ninth graders have their own school? Or would we add them to Woodward with the seventh and eighth graders? If we did change it seventh through ninth at Woodward we would have to add more classrooms and teachers. Granted this would be a long and expensive process, but it could ultimately prove to be much better for our young students. When sophomore Brian Taylor was asked whether he wished he would have been in a different school last year he shrugged;
“Me personally? I didn’t have a problem having kids that much older than me around, for other people though I knew it made them nervous or do things they probably wouldn’t have done” Taylor said. This statement spoke to another concern which is the freshman being pressured into bad habits by upperclassmen like skipping class, drinking, or smoking. Being so much younger and not used to this type of pressure causes these kids to succumb much easier to these pressures than the older kids. When asked if he had ever been pressured into these things,“I haven’t felt pressure necessarily but I have been offered things from older students but refused,” Taylor said. Due to these issues and concerns that are affecting our young students at Bainbridge High School, something needs to be done, and maybe it is removing them entirely.