One of my clients just gave me the results of a middle school student survey on a new program that is supposed to get kids to “mix it up” at lunch by seating them with people they rarely socialize with and in some cases, actively despise. I’m sure you can imagine how popular this is. I thought I’d share some of the more entertaining and revealing responses with you. (Quoted / misspelled per their exact responses.)
Q: Do you know why seating is done this way?
- If you think we are makeing friends we are makeing enimies
- Because your’re making us make new friends that we don’t like
- It’s done so no one is sitting alone
- To accept our peers, learn about other cultures
- So we don’t get loud or fight
- So we can make a “difference” in people’s lives*
- So we can “socialize” with people who don’t like us*
- It is what they do in Europe
- Because you think if we get to choose our seats we will reject a loner. You think we are racist and rude
- I don’t need more friends, I have enough drama
- They want us to make friends and interact with all different kinds of people—I don’t have a problem w/that but when I can never sit w/ the friends I gain in the first place I’m really just losing friends in the long run
- Sitting with weird people
- Sitting with a person that makes fun of you
- People throw food toe much
- Sitting with people that talk very grose
- Listening to people swear!!
- Wipping off the tables
- That you have to rush to the lunchroom to sit with your friends!!! If you don’t…Once I had to sit at an ALL SIXTH GRADE GIRLS TABLE!!!
- I don’t like to sit at tables where people think they are better than me. They are not! We are all equal! I’m sick of people telling me they don’t like me and they are beter. I hate it so much it’s not fair, why can’t the staff change the students. Huh?
- The seating by 8th grade you should already have friends. This just tears people apart
- I don’t like sitting in a group when they can be loud, messy and troublemakers
- Meeting people that tells you the racist rumors ever
- People throwing food
- The boys allways go fist and then us gale get the crapi food I starv
- People throwing rags at you
- I wasn’t able to sit w/my friends and the 8th graders I had to sit w/were mean to me
- having to sit with people who are snobs or people who smell
Anyway, wherever you are, honest and cynical survey-taking middle school kids, hang in there. Junior high doesn’t last forever.
*I love how jaded these kids sound. Dudes, they’re thirteen!