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Do you think Lawrence school children should advance together into the same junior high school?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on February 2, 2005

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Photo of Jane Rank

“No, I don’t think so. There is diversity in the children, and it’s good for each of the schools to offer different communities to allow children to grow more worldly.”

Photo of Larry Fitzgerald

“Yes I do. They have grown up together, and it would make it easier to have their friends around them when they make that big step.”

Photo of Rachel Rademacher

“Not necessarily. I think it’s fine to split them up. The will all be thrown together later in high school anyway.”

Photo of Drake Gearheart

“Yes I do. The students would be able to grow up together and form lifelong relationships and have social stability.”


CeeCee 13 years, 3 months ago

Off Topic: Where did 'Reader Reaction' go?

jonas 13 years, 3 months ago

That's a second, what the heck happened to the forum?

CeeCee 13 years, 3 months ago

I think they should, especially at the junior high level. Kids that age can be difficult to say the least and being the new kid certainly doesn't make that any easier. Those early teen years are hard enough to get through without being thrown into a school of 6 or 7 hundred kids you don't know. My kids went to Centennial and I tried to transfer them into Sunflower because they will go to Southwest Junior High, but we were denied and now I read this article. It makes the sick and now I believe more than ever that the school board made rush judgments about closing schools without really listening to citizens of Lawrence.

Bad_Brad 13 years, 3 months ago

Yes, I do think they should advance together. If you take kids away from their trusted friends with whom they have strong relationships, that is, friends who truly like them for who they are, then the kids end up doing things they wouldn't ordinarily do in order to gain "acceptance" in a new circle of friends. This can lead to destructive behavior and be a real detriment to the kids' social development.

Huckleberry 13 years, 3 months ago

Makeover, I am going to disagree that kids know what their aptitudes are by the time they are in 6th grade. I don't think most know by the time they finish high school. I don't think you can designate each school as the art schoold or science school. Not all families have the resources to transport their kids across town every morning and afternoon.

But for the question at hand, yes I think that kids should be able to advance together in the same Junior Highs. Being the new kid can be torture for any twelve year old with no close friends.

gkcowell 13 years, 3 months ago

I can speak from experience on this issue. Three years ago my daughter (then 12) and I moved from Indiana to Lawrence. She had no friends and was very shy. Thank goodness for the kind & caring counselors at West Jr High and the great kids in her class who made her feel welcome after a month or so. It was so stressful for her that she had many days that were missed due to "stress stomach aches". My feeling is that the longer friends can stay together the better for their level of happiness and feeling a part of the social scene. I also think that it helps them avoid some of the "bad" peer pressures.

Richard Heckler 13 years, 3 months ago

Some people think children are the most adaptable creatures on the planet. Therefore it doesn't matter how often they are subjected to different social circles during the many years of growing up. I disagree. Children and adolescents love security and it's good for them. We all dislike rejection.

Socialization and becoming worldly can be accomplished without throwing our children to the wolves. Changing school boundaries in the middle of the stream can destroy a childs self esteem.

Fangorn 13 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely they should be allowed to advance together. Ms. Rademacher's remark betrays an ignorance of child development. Yes, they will all be thrown together in high school anyway, but those three years of growth and maturing in junior high are critical. One might as well say "Let's just skip junior and senior high school altogether and send them straight to the work force. After all, they're all going to enter the job market later anyway." That's true as well, but they would lack the education received and skills developed in those last 6 years of school. In the same way unnecessarily destabilizing a child's social world before they develop the interpersonal skills that allow them to cope can be very harmful. Doing so for the mere convenience of adults would indeed be "throwing our children to the wolves".

Topside 13 years, 3 months ago

Wordly? Wordly? This is coming from Mcclouth. Jane is in need for a seroius reality check. Obviously Rachel and Jane did not have to switch schools when they were little. They could not be more wrong. As a kid I had to switch to a different middle school with part of my classmates and then went back to the same high school as the rest of the kids who did not. THIS IS A BAD PLAN. It interrupts the relationships kids form at the most criticaland self-consious times of their lives. It is hard to remake friends with the kids who weren't "shipped-off" for a year or two. The kids who stayed together all had stronger cliques and relationships that lasted. If the school board does one thing right the nest few years it should be to not transfer kids.

Just to repeat Rachel and Jane are idiots!!! Also, Borders does sell books without pictures you two.

acg 13 years, 3 months ago

My father was a nuclear welding eng. and we moved once or twice a year the entire time I was growing up. From nuke to nuke and back again. It was the way life was. I moved 36 different times from birth to graduation and it didn't endanger me at all. I'm actually glad we moved a lot. I've seen all four corners of the US and have had a chance to be in some seriously diverse schools. It made me adaptable and open minded towards others. Kids are resilient. They'll learn and grow and forcing them to make new friends can really be a good thing, so ya'll don't discount it. Sure there were many times that I wished we could just stay where we were and make some roots but now I'm glad we didn't. Anyway, there's my two cents. : )

Fangorn 13 years, 3 months ago

acg, I am very glad that your experience was positive, especially considering how extreme it was (most people don't move 36 times during their entire lives!). And I am sure there are others who have also had positive experiences from frequent moves. However, my own observations with junior high school students show me that you are the exception to the rule. Most children need stability in this time of their lives. Those friendships formed become a tremendous resource for them during a very formative period.

CeeCee 13 years, 3 months ago

acg, I too am glad your multiple moves growing up was a positive experience for you. 36 times is alot. I am assuming that you must have moved several times before you reached the junior high level. So, you got use to it and maybe even looked forward to the next move. (Perhaps that could have been because you had a hard time making friends easily and looked forward to getting out of there. Please, forgive me if I'm way off base here. I don't know you, but it is a reasonable assumption nonetheless.) Please understand that most of these kids have spent the last 7 years together forming friendships. That's more than half their lives. I remember way back to junior high how the new kids were treated and it wasn't, and still isn't, pretty. Especially if your not wealthy. But that's another story.

acg 13 years, 3 months ago

No I didn't have a hard time making friends. My point was, that because of the moving and the being forced to go from school to school, it made me somewhat of a social butterfly. I knew from an early age that if I wanted to make friends I would have to develop a positive attitude and be likeable. It killed me each time we moved. Except for Delaware, there wasn't a single place that I lived that I wanted to leave. I would beg and plead my folks to let us stay, for at least another semester if nothing else and of course the answer was always no. Getting to the new school was hard, I was the new kid everywhere and it sucked. But at the same time, it taught me very valuable lessons about making friends. I agree with all of your statements, don't get me wrong, all I'm saying is kids are resilient and they learn to adapt. A heck of a lot better than adults do. Maybe we put off some of our fears onto our kids? "No, we can't move, think of what it would do to the children!".

Liberty 13 years, 3 months ago

Homeschooling is a no brainer. Do the public schools teach the Constitution/Bill of Rights and true history of the civil war (hint: States Rights)? Do they teach the true purpose of a central bank? (Central Banks are an instrument of Communist nations)

Not any more.

If you want a non-socialist child to carry on for you, with an education that teaches the difference between a Republic and a democracy (mob rule), you have to teach them yourself. No choice.

Whether they are together in a Junior high or not is a mute point. There are much more important issues at stake for the future of our kids and our country. It's time to wake up our children and teach them what is happening to our country and what they can do to change it back to retain a free Republic.

emdeees 13 years, 3 months ago

oh, i definitely have something to say about this. i came to lawrence in fourth grade and went to pinckney elementary (go panthers!). by 6th grade, i had a stable social life (as stable as any sixth graders social life can be, at least). then i was torn apart from my friends and sent to west junior high completely alone. worst three years of my life, i wasn't ever able to fully adjust because everyone else knew everyone else already. now i am in high school and back with some of my elementary friends again. some people claim that this is separation is ok because we meet up again in high school. but that is three missing years of growing up together. in those three years adolescents change more than in any other three years. keeping schoolkids together is an amazing idea and i only wish they had thought of it before i went to junior high and wasted three years of my life.

CeeCee 13 years, 3 months ago

emdees, it's nice to hear an opinion from a student. Thank you for posting it. I agree with you that in those three years adolescents change more than any other time in their teens. I'm glad you made that point.

Also, Jonas, I hear that Reader Reaction was removed due to abuse by posters. Maybe it will return in a few months.

Sk8rfreak552 13 years, 3 months ago

Well the person who said that homeschooling was a good idea is crazy. I am a 8th grader at south jr high. I went to elementery school here in lawrence and I got split from half of my friends and another half went to my school. Unless they change the bounderies your bound to go to a jr high that has at least some of your friends. You know you can still talk to your friends and hangout after school!! Thats how it normally works anyways unless you want to get into trouble by talking in class. Yes it would be better if they allowed you to choose but what if everyone wants to go to one school or nobody wants to go to a certain school and then they are forced to go there. And YOU MAKE NEW FRIENDS WHEN YOU MEET NEW PEOPLE!!

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