CAMPUS: Behavioral Issues increase due to past lack of normalcy

As the tired physical education students walk the track, the warning bell rings to indicate that it is time for students to head to the locker rooms. When a student walks through the heavy metal doors to the boys’ locker room, they are met with loud screaming, clapping and yelling.

This behavior not only affects the locker rooms, it also changes classroom dynamics.

“Some students would just not do their work,” math Teacher Lauren Hasty said.

Hasty teaches Algebra 1, which consists mostly of freshmen, who spent a majority of seventh and eighth grade in lockdown, meaning that they have not been exposed to a regular classroom environment for nearly two years. According to Hasty, some students in his class distract everyone, making it difficult to stay on track.

“If I’m asking them to sit down, they use that opportunity to talk more and say why they can’t sit down,” Hasty said. “They just made it kind of disruptive to the class for me to get through materials sometimes.”

Hasty expressed that he believes the resolution to negative behavior can be found in establishing a strong and genuine relationship between the teacher and the student.

“My main solution is to make sure I have some kind of bond with the student because if there’s a student that I don’t have a bond with, then I can’t probably get them to do stuff,” Hasty said. “So usually I’m pretty flexible most of the time. I try to be friendly and flexible with students, and I try to have a kind of bond where they feel trusting.”

As the effects of COVID continue to change students’ behavior, it also makes discipline a lot more difficult for campus administrators.

“This has been the most stressful year to be an educator,” Principal Gregory Shelby said. “There has been a regression to a place we’re not satisfied with, so we are working very hard to fix that.”

According to Shelby, students are acting younger than they actually are, and this is not native to the SCHS campus. Proportionally, in middle schools, he claimed, that sixth graders are acting like fourth graders. Being at home for almost two years, students have experienced a lack of support, structure and overall normalcy.

“I feel a lot of sympathy for students who have relied on the school to be their support network and had to go for quite a while without that support network,” Shelby said.

Some students, like senior Nurayah Alvarado, feel frustrated at their fellow students for their immature demeanor.

“It makes me feel mostly annoyed and somewhat disappointed,” Alvarado said. “I feel like they should know better.”

Alvarado feels that the behavioral issues are unnecessary and have drastically increased since the pandemic, and that students’ bad behavior negatively impacts those around them.

“I feel like the people who are exhibiting the problems should be punished or talked to about their conduct,” Alvarado said. “I don’t want to have to worry about having my Chromebook out at lunch because I’m afraid something is going to get thrown at the table where I’m working.”