Chew on this: Gum can be a sticky problem

0 Comments 11 January 2013

By Ali Saad
Unis Middle School

Gum on your shoes, gum on the floor, gum on the desk.

What are your thoughts about students chewing gum? All over the Dearborn public schools, gum has been a problem whether kids throw the wrapper on the floor or put the gum under the desk and even on the chair. I’ve interviewed two teachers on their thoughts about their students chewing gum. I also interviewed a student about his thoughts. Let’s find out about what they think.

Teacher reads a newspaper at her desk

Donna Baranger

The first person I interviewed was 7th grade teacher Donna Barranger. She said, “if kids could throw their gum in the garbage and not throw wrappers on the floor I would have different thoughts about gum chewing. Since school has started, I have stepped in gum, some students have even sat in gum.”

She has an alternative to gum. “I prefer mints to gum. I think that they might help students concentrate.”

She said, “kids like to play with the wrappers and don’t pay attention to their classwork.” She said she does not go straight to detentions or focus cards but that students already know it’s a no-gum environment.

She said that when she finsd gum on the floor or the desk, “It feels disgusting. If I walk 10 feet, I will be able to find over 10 pieces of gum stuck on the floor.”

Teacher at her desk, looks at camera

April Kincaid

Eighth grade teacher April Kincaid said she believes that gum helps students concentrate on their school work and keep them from talking. She said she allows gum because, as long as students aren’t destroying anything with gum, it’s good for students’ learning. She said that it helps students concentrate and helps them on their schoolwork.

Ms. Kincaid said that some kids are lazy and throw away the wrapper and some kids put their gum under the table and on the floor where students can step in it. She said that if she finds a wrapper on the floor or gum under the table she simply said “I just stop allowing that student to chew gum.”

Eighth grader Mustapha Jaber said he doesn’t mind gum, but when students start sticking it under the table, it shouldn’t be allowed.

Eighth grade student sits at a desk and writes on a piece of paper

Mustapha Jaber

He said, “I really don’t chew that much gum because I’d rather eat something I can swallow because gum runs out of taste quickly.”

He has heard an interesting theory about how gum helps students with their work. “I heard that if you chew the same gum when you’re taking the test that you chewed when you studied for it, it helps you remember what you studied.”

Jaber said it is not worth getting caught chewing gum if you know that you’re going to get caught because you can chew it at lunch or at home.

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Unis Middle School

Unis School serves grades K-8 in the Dearborn Public School District. The school principal is Heyam Alcodray. These are its beliefs about education:

  • A student's highest potential includes improvements academically, artistically, emotionally and socially.
  • Student achievement requires a cooperative effort among parents, teachers and the community to provide encouragement and reinforce core values.
  • Good instruction is assessment-driven, outcomes-based, active, and engaging.
  • Effective instruction touches the world of each student providing for different learning styles and needs.
  • Education is a life-long process that prepares students to be successful, contributing citizens in a changing world.

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