Downsides of Walking to the Middle School for Classes


(Photo Source: Tia Zanardi)

Timothy Friend, Writer

Many of Pentucket’s offered classes take place in the middle school, and the transitions from the high school to the middle school are doing more harm than good. These classes include two of the three offered language classes, all of the STEM classes, and many computer based classes. This situation affects learning time, is inconvenient for students, and poses as a security risk to both schools.

Herr Peterson, the high school German teacher, stationed at the middle school states that, “We lose a few minutes, about 2 to 3 minutes.” This time that is lost could be very valuable to learning.

On the other side of things Mrs. McCartney, a well known substitute teacher, and ex-journalist, claims that, “[Traveling to the middle school] gives students a moment to stretch muscles and relax . . . [This time] is not wasted, exercise fills it.” Allowing students to walk outside and get some fresh air can be very good for student health, and it might even improve moods.

While getting fresh air is good, many students do not enjoy the daily trek to the middle school. According to a survey, 71.4 % (or 10 surveyed students) answered that they disliked having to walk to the middle school. This could be due to the fact that the walk exposes them to the elements, such as the cold wind, wet rain, and harsh snow. The relatively steep hill also becomes coated with ice after mid-winter storms, which can lead to injuries.

Lastly, so many students now have classes in the middle school that the transition could pose as a security risk. According to the same survey, 81.3% (or 13 of the 16 surveyed students) have at least one class in the middle school. Then, 38.5% (or 5 students) have two classes in the middle school, that means that they have to go up and down the hill twice a day, and could be at risk.

Peterson, believes that “[it] is not a security risk.” However, he does think that having “high schoolers sharing bathrooms with middle schoolers is a bad idea, there should not be seventh graders hanging out with seniors.”

When McCartney, was asked if the middle school classes posed as a security risk she first said that, “There is enough [adult] presence to act as security.” But after hearing about how many classes were in the middle school and how many students travel between the buildings each period, she decided that there needs to be “some sort of security that makes sure everyone is identifiable.”

Having flows of students entering and leaving the high school and middle school each period would make it very easy for a person of malicious intent to slip into the school unnoticed. Students walking in the halls will open the door for someone even if they don’t know them, does that not seem like a security risk?

Overall, having classes in the middle school for high schoolers can be beneficial, such as stretching legs and getting fresh air on the way there. Unfortunately the trip is more of a nuisance, time waster, and security risk than anything else.