Franklin High School students leaving the school building for evacuation drill, as two students exhibit aggressive behavior towards each other. Annalise Shorb is pushing Ava Anderson, giving a staged example of what students go through everyday during the passing period. Photographed by Hazel Karon Snow 

Passing periods. The over complained about and under appreciated 28 minutes of our day that we spend transferring from class to class. Within Franklin High School there are at least five main hallways and a few staircases that most students and staff use during their time here. In these hallways and staircases we encounter many different things, from the month old chocolate milk in the corner to the whiffs of Axe body spray that fill our noses as we push past people. While not everyone hates passing periods, the majority do. According to a survey of 35 Franklin students, 81% of Franklin students that responded rate their time during passing periods lower than five on a ten point scale. While there are many reasons for this, a main cause is student hallway etiquette as a collective. Walking slowly, cutting in front of people, groups at the bottom of stairs: these are just a few reasons why the hallways are such a hated part of the Franklin experience.

One of the most hated “bad behaviors” that occurs in the hallways is people stopping right in front of others for no apparent reason. It is understandable if someone is trying to get into their classroom, however if they’re just randomly stopping it’s unacceptable. Another bone that some Franklin students have to pick is the fact that people walk on the wrong side of the hallways. Here at Franklin we strongly suggest that people follow the rules of the (right-driving) road. This also applies when opening the doors that are for entering stairways. I can’t count the amount of times that I will be opening a door to walk into the stairwell and someone coming the opposite direction will try to cut in front of me and use the door I opened to leave. Then a domino effect comes into place and suddenly I’m the new designated doorman. 

While there are many reasons for disliking passing periods. Kyra Kreuscher, a sophomore at Franklin, describes the aggression that weaves its way into the walls at Franklin with disappointment in herself and others. She states that “nobody is thinking about anyone aside from themselves, and I’m guilty of this too, when I want to get to my next class, that’s all I’m thinking about in the hallway.” Kreuscher later goes on to talk about the fact that there needs to be some self analysis when it comes to getting to class on time, Maybe literally shoving and elbowing people out of the way is too far. Other students agree with Kreuscher’s point. For example, junior Diego Myers shares that he really hates when people stop randomly because it affects the overall flow of the hallways, and that has an effect on the other people, without even being intentional. 

History and education teacher Anna York comments on this issue as well, saying that a lot of the problem is the layout of the hallways, which impacts the way that we walk through them; because of the communal areas being in such populated spots, students feel like they should stop and wait before class starts in hopes they will run into friends. However, this creates bottlenecks, which can be problematic. All of this leads to the shoving, elbowing, and overall horse play that goes on in the hallways. These common areas are also problematic because they often are in line with doorways that we need to get through.  

While some of the problem falls on the shape of the building and the patterns we find ourselves walking in, most of the issues are our fault. Why have we turned into people that would rather hurt someone to get to class on time? Have we forgotten about the countless single file lines that we had to do in kindergarten and all throughout elementary school? So if it is our fault as students what are the options for change to help us give a sh*t about other people? A proposal I have for fixing this problem is adding another class to the Franklin required classes. Hallway etiquette is very important and it appears that we have all lost the ability to walk in hallways with others. There needs to be another required class that teaches us how to walk in a cordial way; take us back to kindergarten please. I think we should call it something like College Career Exploration and How Not to Run People Over in the Hallways.  

Some people might argue that we only need one person to make this change and that a domino effect will save us from ourselves; however, I disagree. The amount of times I have tried to be gentle when navigating the hallways is immense and the amount of change it made is miniscule. I believe that we all have to be a part of this to make any kind of beneficial change. So, while creating a required class might not be an option in all seriousness, we have to find a solution to this problem. Just an idea, maybe it should start with a little self awareness on the way we treat other people in general.   

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