Sitting Here…Sitting There…Why We Sit Here and There

Emma Leet, Vibe Staff

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Sequoyah Middle School, a place where people come to learn and meet new friends. Right after class, students are eagerly walking to the cafeteria to meet up with their friends and eat lunch. Our middle school is the only middle school in Broken Arrow that is not allowed to sit with the opposite gender. Many people have friends that are of the opposite sex, I think we can all agree on that. Years back, before I was even in middle school, the administration decided to separate the boys and girls. Now at the time I’m sure there were plenty of good and fair reasons to segregate the cafeteria by sex. Our Vice Principal, Coach Beach, recently said, “We’ve always had boys and girls seperated, as a new administrator it is harder to change rules and it takes more time to try to change the rules”.
In late October and early November, the school decided to have this competition each week to see which grade had the best attendance rate. At the end of the week on Friday, Ms. Johnson will speak over the intercom and announce the winner. During lunch whoever won the competition got to have free seating. Everyone would get super excited and it was a brilliant way to get kids coming to school on time in the mornings. After a couple times doing this they never did it again. Antonella Gil, a Sequoyah student, says “We can control ourselves while sitting with the boys”.
I recently got to interview one student from each Broken Arrow middle school and they all said that they had to sit with the hour they came to lunch with or they got to have free seating. I believe that this is a great way to prepare you for high school, considering they don’t have assigned seats. Coach Beach says, “We have realized that in 9th grade the students are not separated, therefore we are going to allow the whole 8th grade to have free seating for the second semester. I believe they can handle it. There would be no problem as long as the cafeteria is kept clean and the noise level is kept at a decent level”. Coach Beach has a very good point and I can imagine many students can agree on this.
Antonella Gil makes a very good statement and says, “I like sitting with the boys, it gives me more opportunities to make friends.” Miranda Carey responds with “I love when we get to sit with the opposite sex, because most of my friends are guys, I don’t necessarily fit in that much with girls.” Now think, what if you were in Mirnada’s position and you didn’t have that much people to talk to except for the ones on the opposite side of the cafeteria. How would you feel then? Lost, anxious, or even nervous? Miranda Carey says, “People would be a lot happier, there would be limited conflict, and most people would feel less uncomfortable. I think people are so eager to defy the rules that if you were to try and keep them apart, the more they would want to switch to the opposite side of the cafeteria. I think it would be a good idea to allow the boys and girls to cominguel, so that it wouldn’t be a rule that people would want to break.”
Statistics show that having the opposite gender as a friend is very good and he/she could help you with a lot of different problems. What better way to make an opposite gender friend then at lunch? Students at Sequoyah cannot have this ability because we are seperated, Jacob Cherifi says, “I believe that if the boys and girls sat together there would be less problems.” Coach Beach says, “This years eighth graders are pretty mature, I believe that there might be some conflict, but not necessarily cause more than there already is.”
If I was a parent of a student in middle school I would be very skeptical of guys and girls interacting in a non school appropriate way. But as I was interviewing Coach Beach I never heard any concern for inappropriate behavior. Antonella Gil says, “I think the administration thinks something inappropriate will happen.” “I want them together, at first they are going to be loud, but once they get used to it it will become normal. Our main concern is noise level and a messy cafeteria.” Coach Beach says very passionately.
In conclusion, Miranda Carey, Antonella Gil, Jacob Cherifi, Coach Beach, and many middle schoolers all agree that the eighth grade is mature enough to sit together. Sequoyah Middle School is the only middle school in Broken Arrow that is not allowed to sit with the opposite sex. We should be able to sit with the opposite genders so that we can be prepared for the Freshman Academy and high school. It would be a great way to meet new friends of the opposite sex and it would be less uncomfortable for some. This is why Sequoyah Middle School students should be able to sit with the opposite sex during lunch time.