The hallways have always been crowded, but with two large freshmen classes one after another, traffic has slowed to a crawl in every wing. And when nobody moves, people tend to get rude, leaving many wishing people just had the social grace to say “excuse me” before shoving them out of the way.
The traffic jams are, above all, dangerous for everyone involved. A hundred kids crammed into a narrow staircase pushing against each other is a recipe for disaster. Blame it on the designer of the building; Mac’s blueprints are similar to an office building, which house people who come and go in small groups over the day, not the one simultaneous movement of students going to class.
Crowd psychologist’s say that large crowds are most orderly when they have a common goal. To us their example, protests turn into riots when people start running and looting and fighting. In the hallways, we’re all trying to go different places, and we have a time limit, a rather unreasonable one at that. Five minutes to cross a crowded campus simply isn’t enough. Last year’s budget reductions took away a lot more than teachers.
Other schools have solved problems their own way. Clark High School in Northside ISD painted a blue line in the middle of all the hallways and stairways to make people keep to the right. Krueger Middle School just has teachers and AP’s in the halls during all passing periods, direct traffic and keeping order.
MacArthur staff should do both. A blue line through the halls bolsters school spirit, and we have plenty of teachers and AP’s for the job. Maybe then we won’t have to risk life and limb to get to class.