A picture of the AVID hallway with electricity bolts coming up from the floor. This is one of many suggestions talked about in this article as a way to prevent cutting class in the halls.
Photo and illustration by Will Lowe.

Disclaimer: The ideas for improvement are meant to be satirical, however the author believes that these issues should be addressed seriously.

As everyone knows, Franklin High School is perfect. Yet when asked, many students had quite a few complaints about the school. 24 students replied to an Instagram story I made asking, “What problems have you noticed in Franklin?” There were a total of 30 complaints, once the ones highlighting specific people were removed.

After compiling the complaints, I tried to find simple solutions that could solve several of the problems at once. To start, a solution to the messy floors could be taping a broom to everybody’s backs, so they can clean up after themselves as they walk around the building. I received a variety of feedback on my suggestion, things like “Tripping hazard” and “I fully support this idea.” One response that caught my eye was “This is so stupid no, why would we do this it’d be a disaster.” While I understand this student’s perspective, I think they’re underestimating our student body. I trust my peers at this school to be responsible with their brooms, and to clean up the hallways and classroom floors they walk on.

Another suggestion is to electrify the school hallways during class. This could solve several issues, like students standing in the hallways during class, as well as putting a stop to hallway fights. Like all new ideas, I received negative feedback, but more people voted in favor of this idea than against, with six out of nine votes in favor. Some said that electrifying the floors would positively affect their ability to get to the bathroom or water fountain during class, since nobody would be standing around to hog it and skip class. However, some of the “yes” responses felt a little too enthusiastic, one saying “Yes! Electrocute those kids!” There may be some issues with my suggestion, but I think this, or something else that could prevent skipping class while staying in the school, should be taken into consideration.

I was given several suggestions to add to my list of ways to improve Franklin, one of which was to add gutters to the edge of the stage to catch the band’s spit during concerts. While this is a very thoughtful suggestion, there’s some oversight when it comes to what the stage is used for outside of band concerts. I propose that all kids in the band who play a spit-producing instrument receive a bowl that hangs off of the end of their instrument, to catch their saliva.

More ways to keep our school clean and tidy would be to supply cleaning supplies in each bathroom, and have an honor system to make sure that people don’t leave the bathroom until they clean up after themselves. Cleaning supplies could also be helpful to give to the people that use the bathrooms as a hangout spot, giving them something to do while they skip class.

Honor codes sometimes work, however in a community of mostly 14 to 18 year olds, it’s hard to trust that people will pull their weight. Having Jo Frost, also known as Supernanny, as a vice principal could greatly change the way the kids in our school treat each other, the appliances we’re given, and teach them to have more respect for our building and teachers in general. It’s not our teachers’ jobs to discipline students, and with Supernanny people might learn some basic respect for their surroundings.

One final issue is our school’s intercom system. Even in the places in the school where it works the best, by the time the classroom has quieted down, the announcement is already over. It’s more of a distraction than a useful way to spread important information. One suggestion to fix this issue would be to have somebody go into each classroom and whisper the announcement softly into each person’s ear to be sure they get the point across soundly.

Most of these suggestions are jokes, however, I think some serious reflection on the actual issues within our school, instead of just patching up things on the surface, would fix the causes of most of these issues. There are real issues in this school: who we were named after, kids skipping school, failing infrastructure; everything in our country, state, and city has issues; that’s unavoidable. There’s no way to make existing perfect for everybody, but there are ways to make it easier for most people.

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