Hallway Roaming: Helpful or Harmful?

One of the main focuses of the newly introduced rules at Tuscarora was to decrease one thing, hallway roaming. It is not difficult to imagine why, as teachers are clueless to what is actually going on in the halls. Seeing an unaccompanied student leads teachers to one conclusion. However, students aren’t always up to trouble. Frequently, the stress from the day leads to students having to create breaks for themselves. Used appropriately, hallway roaming can be a peaceful, quiet experience for any student.

Especially after the whirlwind of Covid, students became used to having constant breaks. So, as school returned to its original template, stress naturally increased. As found in a study conducted by Boston University, “…The prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people continues to increase, now reaching its highest levels, a sign of the mounting stress factors due to the coronavirus pandemic…”. Though coming from a different school, this can apply to students all over the world, including Tuscarora.

Of course it’s not possible for students to acquire as many breaks as they did during Covid, but teachers and staff can partake in making this gradual transition. Demonstrated in an article by Cornell University, “Research shows that taking purposeful breaks (anywhere from 5–60 minutes) from studying to refresh your brain and body increases your energy, productivity, and ability to focus.” Continuing on giving helpful suggestions rather than just roaming around, “Take a walk” and “Stretch – chances are your body is tense from sitting in the same position for hours on end, so take some time to stretch your neck, your back, your arms, and wrist.”

When asked about roaming the halls Anoushka Racharan(9) mentioned, “I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s good for students to have a break”. Similarly, student Avery Neuman(10) contributed, adding, “I feel like it is a good thing to an extent. Because sometimes there are people who really need a break, but then there’s others who just roam to get out of their class. Either way I think it’s good for students to be able to get away in a quiet area.”. In contrast, band student Jeanelle Lin (10) gave her opinion stating, “I dont think it’s super safe but it’s definitely gotten a lot better this year.”

Schools around the world are gradually adapting to create a more mentally peaceful space, and it’s time for Tuscarora to do the same. For example, as shown on NPR more states are allowing students to take mental health days off. Writing in reference to a school in Illinois, “The state allows K-12 students in public schools to have five excused absences per school year for mental health reasons, another example of the growing acknowledgment among lawmakers that emotional and physical health are intertwined. The new policy, which went into effect at the beginning of 2022, passed both chambers of the state legislature unanimously.”

There is the argument that some students leave class to go talk to their friends, or just to skip out on learning. But there could be other students who need to leave the class for separate reasons. It’s now nearly impossible for two students to be out of the class at a time, no matter the circumstance. So, if you need a break from class, let a teacher know.