Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Middle schools are unhealthy for kids

Letter by Helen (Julane) Pharis, Tacoma on Sep. 27, 2010 at 12:01 pm with 3 Comments »
September 27, 2010 12:06 pm

Re: “Junior high return sought” (TNT, 9-27).

It is my personal opinion that middle schools are unhealthy mentally and emotionally for young children.

Going to middle school is a form of rite of passage. When children come into their teens, a new world opens up for them. Young girls begin to wear makeup, and for boys it is just a few steps away from learning to drive. There is peer pressure in social areas.

Young people just entering the sixth grade are often still just children, and the sixth grade has been traditionally a stepping stone toward a new world of young adulthood. I have to wonder if they are mature enough to handle the peer pressures they face when going to school with older children.

The same applies to high school, where boys and girls are beginning to form relationships and emotions run high. Drugs are clearly a part of the peer pressure they face.

I don’t feel we should be pushing our children into those situations. Let children be children as long as they can. They can still learn their lessons, no matter whether it is middle school or grade school, but let then learn life’s lessons when they are mature enough to handle them.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. surething says:

    I totally agree.

  2. eagle_beak says:

    thank you Ms Pharis for your letter and opinions.
    it is good you had the courage to write and put your views out there.
    i agree with you and think that many things could be changed in our educational systems for the better. and i agree that some things that were done differently in the past were done better.
    keep expressing your opinions on what matters to you and keep voting.

    God bless America and help us make (and keep) our country great!

  3. alindasue says:

    During my teen years I moved from a district with a junior high system to a district with a middle school. I went to 7th and 8th grades in junior high, then entered high school in 9th grade. My younger siblings went to middle school. What’s the difference? Not much really. 7th graders are also still kids. The biggest difference I’ve seen is that at junior highs, the 9th graders are somewhat in a limbo area when it comes to inter-school sports while a 9th grader at a high school is clearly a “freshman”.

    I suppose we could really take it back and go to the days when you had “grammer school” (grades 1-8) and “secondary school” (9-12). Hey, it worked for my parents and grandparents.

    The important thing is consistancy. My teen daughters are doing fine in the Tacoma district as it is now. With the constant demands and changes districts make to comply with No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, and the WASL becoming HSPE becoming who knows whatever experimental measuring system next time, the students don’t need the district playing shell games with them by shuffling around our 6th and 9th graders again.

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