Behavioral Issues Run Rampant Through Pennridge

When it comes to learning in schools, teachers and school figures continuously find ways to improve the ease of learning for students, but lately, students inhibit their own ability to learn due to behavioral choices in school. Since coming back to school in person after the CDC claimed it was safe to, students demonstrated concerning behavior in regards to school property, respect to teachers, high noise volume in the cafeteria, and a laxed tendency to turn in assignments. Teachers’ jobs are already strenuous enough, having to demonstrate more flexibility due to limitations placed by Covid. Unwarranted actions from students only disrupt the learning and teaching experience, making it more difficult for others to focus on their priorities in the classroom.
A recent poll conducted on the students and teachers of Pennridge High School shows that nearly 60 percent of the people witnessed increased behavioral problems this year in school. They also outlined these problems to consist of vandalization and destruction of the school bathrooms, cafeteria-related issues such as high noise level and unclean food messes, hallway-related problems, and issues in the classroom. Additionally, a video outlining the expected procedures of students in school created by Stephen Cashman, the principal at Pennridge High School, proved ineffective in reducing these behavioral concerns. This is mainly due to students not finding a video as serious as they should compared to a face-to-face confrontation, which results in them ignoring the intended message.

A look into the cafeteria at Pennridge High School. (Riley Hepler)

Behavioral issues disrupt the flow of school by distracting students and teachers from performing their jobs, they lead to the removal of privileges for students that follow the rules and reduce the overall quality of life in the school environment. The most recent and commonly known example amongst the Pennridge High School community is the bathroom vandalizations and destruction of property. There’s a select number of individuals within the high school that feel the need to overflow toilets, remove soap dispensers, take all the paper towels, and smoke in the bathrooms, which results in these bathrooms shutting down to the entire school community. This frustrates students who follow the rules showing civilized manners and etiquette who need to use the bathroom during a school day. Not only is this an issue for students, but it’s also an issue for teachers since students miss one-fifth to one-fourth of a class period searching the school for an available bathroom, using it, and returning to class.

A look into the Pennridge High School café part of the cafeteria. (Riley Hepler)

Although bathrooms are a main behavioral issue for students, cafeterias and school classrooms also prove to be social dysfunctions of school pertaining to students’ behavior. The noise volume in the school cafeteria is too high and is unhealthy for the ears of people within the vicinity. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, they state, “…The decibel level in the cafeteria could reach an average of 101 A-weighted decibels, equivalent to the noise of a lawnmower or tractor. Repeated or prolonged noise levels at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing damage.” Sarah Kascsak, a senior at Pennridge High School, claims that “Carrots are being launched by random tables and hitting people trying to eat their lunch with hardly any repercussions given. The cafeteria is where I see most of the issues. People are in a crowd so they think it is okay.” The school classroom also displays the same level of dysfunctions. According to Tim Kelly, a teacher at Pennridge High School, “At least 75 percent of it (the issues) is cell phone and air pod issues. They are distracting, and the use of electronics in class is distracting, including laptops.” These problems conflict with people who are trying to perform their roles within the school and require an immediate solution to limit student rebelliousness.

In conclusion, students’ behavior in schools is posing to be an imminent problem requiring the attention of Pennridge High School’s officials. Their behavior is a disruption to both teachers and other students who follow the guidelines set in place. It poses a distraction for others to get work done, makes teachers’ lives more strenuous, and overall reduces the quality of life in a schooling environment. Actions need to be taken, such as a face-to-face assembly, in order to bring back order and balance amongst students in Pennridge High School.