Budging – a Principal’s Perspective

Columns, News, Opinion — By on September 19, 2013 12:09 pm
Principal Steve Brand

Principal Steve Brand

By Steve Brand, Principal

“It’s my right as an upperclassman.”

“All of the upperclassmen budged in front of me when I was a freshman.”

“Why does everything get taken away from me when I’m a senior?”

“Seniors should not have to wait in line.  Freshmen should just expect to go last.”

Let’s acknowledge that lunch ranks as the number one activity during the academic day for high school students. It’s the only time, minus four minutes between each class, students get to be with friends and have no structure.  Lunch is thirty-three minutes of freedom.  High school students are hungry!  Actually, high school students are very hungry, and our cooks prepare great food.  In two lunch shifts, MVHS serves approximately 390 students.  With 195 students in each lunch shift and thirty-three minutes to eat, the potential for chaos exists.

As the Mount Vernon High School principal, it is my mission to maintain a safe and purposeful learning environment.  All students deserve a bully-free atmosphere of mutual respect and fairness.  While upperclassmen may feel entitled to budge in the lunch line, it is my duty to uphold a mission of safety, respect, and fairness.  Much to the disbelief of upperclassmen, for the previous three years I have battled budging, and discouraged the behavior.  Finally, in an attempt to eliminate the practice, this year the actual lunch line procedure changed to easily monitor budging.

Everyone is entitled to a free and public education.  Within your free and public education there are rules, regulations, and expectations for all.  Upperclassmen, it was wrong when you were budged in front of as a freshman.  It’s still wrong today to budge in front of freshmen.

Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Be the class that puts an end to disrespectful behavior.  Be the class that stands up for mutual respect, fairness, and creates a bully-free zone.  Be the class that makes a difference.

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