It’s Time to Keep Freshmen On Campus – Permanently


Freshman being disrespectful is a tale as old as time. Socially underdeveloped – partly because of COVID, partly because they are 14 – freshmen lack experience interacting with others. Because of this, workers at off-campus restaurants are frequently mistreated by these ninth graders.

These horror stories have been recounted by students and staff alike: shoplifting, vandalism, talking back to employees. It’s the reason that students last year were threatened with the loss of off-campus privileges, and why freshmen this year are on a seemingly permanent probation. But these solutions aren’t actually fixing the problem, rather they tip-toe around the best option: don’t give freshman off-campus privileges.

In preventing these underclassmen from gaining access to the independence of going off campus, the destruction they leave is also removed. Additionally, having a grade wide ban prevents students who do nothing wrong from being burdened by a group wide punishment.

Although this would limit their interaction with these workers, age also matures students. Come sophomore year, these previously deviant students will be prepared to go off-campus.

State-wide and nationally freshman having access to off-campus privileges is not recognized as a right; rather a privilege. Principal Ryan Silva has acknowledged, multiple times through multiple forms of communication to the school community, that he personally believes off-campus privileges for all ages are a privilege that most other schools do not hand out. That is exactly what this is: a handout. The incoming freshman classes has begun to follow a pattern of disrespect that paints Creek in a poor light.

The current solution is to implement a system of reporting peers. Silva has requested that freshman take pictures of their peers who may be acting out of line, and report them to the deans office. Though this may be a successful tactic to weed out the students who actually deserve for their off-campus privileges to be taken, it promotes a lack of unity within the grade. Pitching students against each other is the opposite of building school spirit and morale. It is hypocritical for administration to request students to disobey the principles the school consistently promotes.

Not once in the past two years of freshman classes has a sense of maturity or a commitment to respect been demonstrated. So stripping the entire freshman class of the privilege and setting that standard for years to come will mitigate the disrespect they are contributing to Creek’s surrounding community.

Eliminating access for all students to leave campus also answers the question surrounding the lack of equality in the current system. Though the freshman class have earned themselves an unpleasant reputation, not all the students are behaving in this manner. For those who carry morals and respect with them when they leave campus, the threat of off-campus access being taken seems simply unfair.

When establishing a standard that freshman enter the high school and life stay virtually the same in the sense of staying on campus, it will add a sense of security and normalcy. Graduating from middle school to high school the freshman are bombarded with alien experiences. Adding the freedom of leaving the school once, possibly twice a day provides too much room for mistake.

Though these students are acting outside Creeks honor code and values, in most cases it is not their fault. They have not been introduced to this idea of off-campus. For most students they suffered through middle school, an already trying time, through a global pandemic. This limited interaction and social exposure for everyone globally.

For middle school students however, this is a developing time. One where they learn who they are and how to carry themselves. Without this period of experimentation, these students are left with a deficit of knowledge. Though this may seem like a short term explanation these current freshman are not an anomaly. All students K-12 were burdened with the effects of COVID. This pattern will just continue down the line as all children missed the period of learning and developing communication skills. Allowing freshman year to be another opportunity for these students to learn and grow into themselves gives them the chance to mature without a prolonged period of uncertain experimentation.