Committee Examines Survey on School Environment

Is BASH a safe, caring environment to go to school in?

The school Climate/No Place for Hate Committee is working to gain a good understanding of just that. Earlier this month, they had students take an online survey asking them about things such as accessibility to drugs, teachers, and counseling.

“The purpose of the climate survey is to get the students’ perspective on how they feel about life at BASH,” Assistant Principal Kelly Mason, who oversees the committee said. “We want to know how students are feeling on a daily basis.”

The results of the Climate Survey will be examined by a student group Mrs. Mason is forming

“to analyze the results and formulate ideas for change/improvement going forward”. Teachers were asked to recommend two students each for the committee.

Meanwhile, a small survey of students shows some students feel peer pressure from everything to experimenting with marijuana to maintaining a certain body image.

Sophomore Madison Spence-Moore says teens give into peer pressure because they want to fit in.

“Being left out is every teenager’s nightmare,” she said. “It happens all the time; we just don’t see it.”

Students admit to being pressured into losing weight, smoking marijuana, and bullying other students. Sophomore Brandon Depriest said he was hanging out with some kids at a house party in 9th grade when some friends pulled out some marijuana and pressured him into trying some.

“I said no with slight hesitation,” he said. “It was hard though because I didn’t want to be an outcast.”

Another student, Andrew Bennett, said he has felt pressure to deny his sexual orientation. He told his peers a few years ago that he was gay and some kids don’t really want to socialize him because of it, he said. He doesn’t really care; he embraces who he is.

“With coming out [about being gay] it was really hard,” he said.“Everyone acted as if it wasn’t okay. In the end, it really is okay because I’m me.”

Sophomore Lauren Moyer said she has felt pressure to lose weight. She started to take modeling seriously when she was in ninth grade, and her modeling coach forced losing weight onto her and her peers so they could get better jobs.

“They pressured me into being a size less than four,” she said. “If I wasn’t a size less than four then I was considered a plus size.

“I quit because there was way too much pressure maintaining a perfect body.”

Sophomore Brent Spicer said he has given into pressure to bully others. He was on the bus, he said, when his friends kept telling him to fight one of his fellow students. He tried to ignore them, but he didn’t want to be on the outside looking in. Therefore, he decided to fight the kid.

“All of my friends were convincing me to fight this kid,” he said. “I tried to ignore it, but unfortunately I wound up fighting him. I wish I wouldn’t have. Peer pressure can seriously impact the decisions we make.”

However, some peer pressure can also be positive. Sophomore Shannon Lawrence uses it as motivation to get better grades.

“I hangout with people who take a lot of honor level courses. Their A’s encourage me to do my best,” she said.