Seriously, Why Do the Middle Schoolers have MacBooks?

Rafe Pisarik

Rafe Pisarik

The sleek, smooth MacBook. Perfect for everything from writing essays to attending zoom calls. The bulky, slow, plastic Chromebook. If one were to guess which of these devices were in the hands of hard-working high school seniors, and which were being used by actual seventh graders, the natural answer would be that the seniors would have the better computers. Wrong. Mount Vernon School District’s 12year-olds enjoy a luxury not afforded to their SAT taking, college-applying, scholarship vying high schoolers, nice computers. This misplacement of valuable technology is grossly negligent, wasteful, and overall unacceptable.

Giving middle schoolers these nice computers is a complete waste. Try and imagine one thing a middle schooler would be doing on a MacBook that is more important than a high school equivalent. I used to be a middle schooler, a seventh and eighth grader that was bestowed with a MacBook. Steam, that’s what we used them for. Downloading games and playing on them after school, before school, at recess, at lunch, and during class. Every one of my friends, too. Middle schoolers’ homework load pales in comparison to that of even a freshman. The only class that consistently assigns homework is mathematics, and that doesn’t even require use of a computer. My peers and I spent so much time playing on our MacBooks that it proved actively detrimental to our learning, and I focused a lot more on my classes when it was inevitably taken away. Now, not all middle schoolers are as irresponsible as I was, but giving them Chromebooks instead of MacBooks would literally solve a problem, Chromebooks can’t download games. Middle schoolers using MacBooks for just about everything but school on MacBooks that could be being used by high schoolers is an irresponsible waste of tech.

Giving MacBooks to middle schoolers is also risky. MacBooks are far more valuable than Chromebooks, and middle schoolers are equally more irresponsible and careless than high schoolers. Imagining my little siblings with a valuable piece of tech that does not belong to them is like something from a nightmare. They’d eat over their keyboards, scribble on the mousepad, drop the computer, put it in their bag without a case, set a glass of water right next to it and knock it over, children are just far less responsible. To entrust an important responsibility to a 12year-old rather than an 18year-old is just ridiculous, they’re little kids.

Now, you may be thinking, ‘well, it’s all well and good that middle schoolers shouldn’t have MacBooks, but why do high schoolers need them?’ The answer is simple, they don’t. High schoolers don’t need fancy tech to do their homework either, and while bulky and slow, the Chromebooks do a decent job. The point is that under no circumstances should middle schoolers have superior hardware than that of the high schoolers. If we have access to MacBooks, the high schoolers should get them. If we can only afford to supply two grades with MacBooks, they should go to the 11th and 12th graders. 

Middle schoolers do not fully take advantage of the MacBooks given to them by the school, primarily playing games on them, being far less responsible with them, and being assigned far less online based at home assignments that require a computer. High schoolers would make far better use of the nicer computers and should have access to them instead of the middle schoolers.