Crowded Fairmont hallways give grief to students

Crowded Fairmont hallways give grief to students

Students shuffle their way through the Central Unit lobby during a class change.

A part of life that every student at Fairmont High School has to deal with is the chaos of the hallways. For some people, this is easier said than done. With the noise, the pushing, and the rude behavior, traveling through the hallways becomes more of a gauntlet than a way to get to your next class.

 Going through the hallways at Fairmont, students should expect to be able to reach their destination without any setbacks. The actions of their peers, however, quickly make the walk grow sour. People complain about the seemingly endless number of students who will happily try to shove past each other or stand in the middle of the hallway, making it hard for everyone else to get through.

Trouble in the halls

The thing about the hallways that sophomore Joanna Fadel hates the most is how rude people can be. “I’ve never done things like shoulder checked, ramming people in the hall with my shoulder on purpose, but I glare at people whenever they do those things to me. Sometimes I’ll bump into someone on crutches or in a wheelchair, but I can’t help it with everyone else pushing me,” said Fadel. “I always say sorry right away.”

Fadel feels that some students’ incredibly rude behavior is the main cause of the horrid hallway conditions. “I don’t think there’s anything that teachers can do,” said Fadel. “The students need to improve. If they didn’t do the things they do now, everything would be fine.”   

Senior Victor Scarpelli also finds fault with the student behavior in the hallways. “The most annoying thing is going from West Unit to Central Unit, when it seems like there is one row of people going the direction I am going and five rows of people going the opposite direction,” said Scarpelli.

Junior Cody Boothe shares some of the same views that Scarpelli does. “My least favorite thing about the hallways is when people take up the whole hallway going the opposite direction that I’m going,” said Boothe. Although Boothe has problems getting through the hallways, he finds that navigating to his next class has gotten easier the longer he has been at Fairmont because he learns the quickest routes through the hallways.

Boothe also admits that he has unintentionally added to the chaos of the halls. “One time, I was walking down the hallway and heard a big crash,” said Boothe. “Later that day, Jenna Lane told me that I knocked over a kid with my backpack.”

Teacher presence may help – temporarily

Math teacher Diane Dieterle sees the behavior of students change whenever she travels from West to Central Unit. “I notice that people look for me and then act nice and clean up their language when I’m around,” said Dieterle.

Even if students do go back to their old behavior when she moves on, Dieterle reminds them that they can be heard 360. “Many students wouldn’t want to repeat what they say here in front of their parents or grandparents,” she said.

Dieterle believes that even if it seems unintentional, most students know that their behavior is wrong. “I say ‘excuse me’ and students move, but when I hear someone else say it, I don’t see anyone move,” said Dieterle. “Students are pretty good about cleaning up their act for me, but I don’t think they do it for peers.”

Are there any solutions?

With all the problems in the hallways, some Fairmont students have been thinking of ways to lessen the chaos of the hallways. Some of these improvements focus on the school as a whole, while others take a very specific approach.

“I’ve always thought about having lights, like stop lights – especially in Central Unit because it’s like a mosh pit there,” said Boothe.

Some ideas for fixing the halls don’t focus solely on the hallways themselves. “They need to bring back the hall monitors,” said Scarpelli. “Students in study halls need to be hall monitors.”

Not everybody thinks major improvements are needed in Fairmont’s hallways, however. Central Unit Principal Andrew White sees Fairmont’s staff promoting good behavior and decent language. “Part of our job is getting students ready for the work force,” said White. “We promote the behavior, language, and attire that will be expected in the workplace.”

White attempts to move groups of students that congregate in the middle of the hallway to the wall to make room for others who want to get through. “Also, about two minutes before the bell, I try to get students moving to their classes so that they won’t be late.”   

While students may dislike the crowded halls, some don’t believe that reason alone is enough of an excuse for people to act the way they do. “You are a model for the future,” said Dieterle. “Are these the things that you really want to display?”