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Students debate whether gum should be allowed in school

Should gum be allowed at Lincoln-Way Central?

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Should gum be allowed at Lincoln-Way Central?

Aspen Whitehead, Chloe Kasper

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Chloe’s take:

Here at Lincoln-Way Centra, gum is not tolerated. Some students enjoy chewing gum and claim it helps them in academic performances. But gum is just a distraction. We conducted an experiment in Mrs. Vaculik’s advisory: we had 2 kids from the same grade and reading level take the same reading test, but we had one chew gum and the other not chew gum. We found that chewing gum made no difference; in fact, the person chewing gum did significantly worse than the one without.

If students were allowed to chew gum just imagine the desks, lockers, and carpet covered in gum. We are proud of and appreciate our clean school.  Not only would gum take away from this, it would cost the school a ton of money because they would have to keep replacing materials damaged by gum left behind. Janitors would have to work extra hard to clean the filthy gum off the floor. And students would constantly be sitting in desks with gum stuck to the bottom, which is something nobody wants.

Aspen’s take:

In  many schools there’s a strict rule of no gum allowed. The consequences can vary, but here at Lincoln-Way Central, gum-chewing earns you detentions.  What’s the big deal? Yes, chewing gum with your mouth wide open can be obnoxious and distracting, but with some boundaries, I believe gum should be allowed in schools to help children concentrate.

Many studies have been conducted to prove that chewing gum does in fact increase focus during testing, and it is also said to calm down nerves when students are anxious or nervous about a big test.

So we’ve decided to conduct one of Lincoln Way Centrals is very own study.  Two students at the same grade level were selected at random and then were given the exact same reading test. One of the students was allowed gum and the other was not. Each student was granted 3 minutes to finish the test. Both students are seniors enjoying their last year at Lincoln-Way Central.  The test itself was provided by Mrs. Vaculick , who teaches English 2, English 2 honors, and Reading Seminar.  Our tests came back as the student without gum scored higher than the student with gum, yet the student without claimed that they were a lot more calm and stress-free. Whereas the student who had gum felt stressed and nervous about the test.

Mrs McNamara was interviewed on her  thoughts on the gum rules in school. She informed us that she understands the rules and why they’re in place, but believed with certain boundaries, giving it a chance may prove to be helpful with student improvement in test scores.

With student anxiety on the constant uptick, schools should be doing everything in their power to relieve some anxiety the students face. Even if gum does not always directly aid the student in receiving a higher test score, it does assist in the mental health of the student as they take their test. 

Overall, it appears that although gum cannot help students become straight-A students, it can help calm nerves for students.  We want to keep our clean environment here at Lincoln-Way Central; therefore, we have deduced that gum should be allowed WITH boundaries.

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