The Maverick Newspaper

Fallon Middle School's Newspaper

The Maverick Newspaper

The Maverick Newspaper

Belonging

Having a Place At Fallon
Belonging

A safe haven. That’s what almost everyone seeks for. In Fallon, it doesn’t feel like a problem. Everyone has their own clique, groups, and friends. Everyone belongs. 

Mrs. Baligaya expresses the word belonging as a person should, “feel comfortable, safe, and happy… and they know who they can talk to.” Fallon graciously provides students a safe connection that they can talk to someone when there is a problem. This includes counselors, PEAC members, teachers, and friends. So why is it that students feel left out of friendships and relationships in school? 

In our Belonging in Fallon survey, almost 40% of students said they belong “sometimes.” There are multiple issues to this case. Like students isolating themselves, and spending time quietly around friend groups, especially when there is a difference in race, ethnicity, or feelings. But to some, the problem lies in the classroom. 

Anonymous speaks out about this problem, “Even if you are unsure, please do the good thing. You might understand what somebody is going through but you decide not to help them because you just don’t want to or don’t want to put in the effort or are influenced by others’ decisions about other people” The connection between homework and belonging seem to be two completely different topics. But while some kids chat and interact during lunch, other kids may rush through their next assignment, to only find a stack of more and more homework, a barrier between a student’s social life and their homework. This can lead to students feeling like they are truly alone–making them choose endless hours of studying, rather than their self-needs.  The enormous amount of stress that builds up can break students: the constant race to finish assignments before the deadline, the pressure to make their assignment the greatest, the demand to get perfect grades, and more. With so many different points of views on this topic of stress and homework, 8th grader, Nidhi Nihalani says, “I think we can increase the amount of people feeling like they belong here at Fallon by…making learning a more fun experience. Also having a staff member or teacher in this campus that you can trust and tell whatever you want to really helps the positivity in Fallon, because I know a lot of us have negative thoughts that kind of decrease our school spirit. So having supportive teachers is an important contribution to Fallon.”

With these things in mind, here is one of the main reasons standing in front of students and other peers: Bullying. 

In 2016, the National Center of Educational Statistics recorded that one in every five students was being bullied. There are multiple ways to the endless disdain students give to classmates from giving dirty looks to physically hurting them. Cyberbullying is also a huge problem that all communities face. The National Institute of Health says, “The picture of such a phenomenon becomes sadder when considering the contextual factor of the COVID-19 pandemic that negatively affected children’s psychological health due to the prolonged school closures and the consequent social isolation.” We have not yet recovered from the Covid-19 instability pushing more to stay online and community through the internet. But in all this madness, there is a way out.  

Although including everyone may be hard, we must aspire to make Fallon a safe community where everyone feels like they belong. We’ve also done things in the past such as the “We Are One” rally and the “Back to School Dance”, to promote the Fallon community. We sent a poll out about this problem and here’s what the Mustangs said. This is a really small solution that can change many minds, just smile. Holding the door, sitting with people at lunch, greeting people are all little solutions that can make a difference. Let’s make a difference. 

Some ways Fallon students have recommended for this are providing equal opportunities for all at our school, a decrease of homework, not judging people, caring more about people, including those who are left out, more advisory lessons about cultures, talking to PEAC students, and promoting clubs! Those are just a few of the many responses that were given to us. If you see something, say something. Even the smallest efforts can make a difference. Anything that can make a student feel like they belong in Fallon.

Saumya Shah, a PEAC student, speaks out about this problem, “I think that belonging is a huge part of the school experience. As long as we speak out about our issues and make sure to resolve it, I think we can make the middle school experience great for our school.” As well as counselors, PEAC students do a great job helping out students on a daily basis and keep them involved with our school. Multiple events they hold and lunchtime activities are all ways that they’ve helped our school thrive with community and diversity. We have all been introduced to our Fallon counselors, and they are constantly having a full schedule with appointments with students to help them out and give them the care they might not think they need. Friends groups are sometimes a hassle too, whether it’s someone not being included or trust issues with one other. Once again, if you see something, say something. Even the smallest efforts can make a difference.



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About the Contributors
Meghna Rangeneni, Staff Writer
Diya Nair, Staff Writer
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  • S

    SanaiyaDec 14, 2023 at 10:46 am

    I know that other people might disagree, but joining clubs really does make you feel like you belong. I know that my fellow color guard members are like my family to me.

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  • T

    TanmayiDec 1, 2023 at 11:46 am

    nice article

    Reply