“Help us”: RV faculty and admin plead for assistance in managing underclassmen behavior

The meeting to inspire the senior class to set an example for the younger students has yet to prove its worth

Jadaa Cruz, News Writer

Principal Joseph Martin gathered the senior class in the Performance Arts Center for a brief presentation concerning the rebellious actions exhibited by the underclassmen on November 30.

Rumors and speculations filled the room as Martin patiently waited for the seniors to settle down. Some students knew the objective of the presentation because of informative teachers, meanwhile, the majority of the graduating class were left in the dark. 

Statements such as What’s this about? and “I don’t give a what” were repeatedly voiced by students throughout the auditorium.  

When the discussion finally began, Martin immediately announced that the meeting was not a lecture; instead, the presentation was about “senior empowerment.” 

Due to COVID-19, the class of 2022 is the “only class to have a normal year” at Rancocas Valley, according to Martin. With that being said, seniors understand the expectations the RV staff upholds for their students, perhaps more than any other class at RV.

Owing to the prominence of social media, especially TikTok, Martin stated that many of the underclassmen display levels of immense foolishness and immaturity.

The freshmen are a “generation of followers we have to stop,” said Martin.

As a result of a clear lack of structure, several students at RV now have criminal charges tied to their names due to their acts of vandalism in the school’s restrooms.

“I think with [COVID-19, the freshman] went from seventh grade to ninth grade…they all of a sudden have to be in a high school setting, but that doesn’t excuse their immaturity,” senior Enise Kupa stated.  

At the meeting in November, Martin urged seniors to “help us” in regards to decreasing the wild behavior.

RV’s disciplinarians seem to be exhausting all of their ideas towards putting an end to the intolerable behaviors and have since turned to the senior class to lend a hand. The school has taken more drastic steps in the last few weeks, including limiting open bathrooms during classes and having students turnstile in and out when using the restroom. The additional hire of more security guards is supposed to help curb problematic behavior.

Following his statement, Martin clarified that the faculty is “not looking for vigilantes.” Alternatively, the school wants the seniors to establish a “red devil to red devil” relationship with the underclassmen. 

Martin reminded seniors that it’s “the right thing to let someone know” if a student witnesses inappropriate behavior from an individual. Moreover, Martin believes that saying something, regardless of the action, can benefit someone’s life as it can help steer an individual off of a path of conflict and disciplinarian action throughout their high school career.

As the presentation came to a close, he left the graduating class of 2022 with the simple phrase: “Be the example.” 

The impact of this meeting has yet to be determined; freshmen teachers and disciplinarians continue to express frustration with underclassmen and the bathrooms continue to be locked. Many teachers continue to spot underclassmen with earbuds and phones in the hallways, but many upperclassmen and faculty members hope for turnaround in the new year.