Johnson faculty shares its feelings on Valentine’s day

by Caitlin Glenn|staff writer

As Valentine’s day draws nearer, the typical complaints of not having a boyfriend of girlfriend and the ever present insistence of people actually in relationships flaunting their “taken” status take on a frequency that promises to annoy people everywhere. Teachers in particular are forced to deal with the hectic, drama filled day as their students celebrate the holiday on campus and have been left with mixed feelings about the day, ranging from enthusiasm to bitter hatred.

On  one hand, not everything about the holiday is self-absorbed or distracting.

Students across campus celebrate Valentine's day, and teachers must put up with it every year.
Students across campus celebrate Valentine’s day, and teachers must put up with it every year.

“I think it’s fine,” English teacher Peggy Williams said, “I really love how they do the fundraiser for Leukemia and how you can buy carnations for people. I mean, kids forget that you can’t have the big balloons and the big teddy bears in class, and so they get irritating when they’re told they have to leave them at the Welcome Center. Honestly, I don’t see a whole lot of celebrations between boys and girls, it’s usually just between friends. Most couples are going to celebrate outside of school with their boyfriends and their girlfriends, like go to dinner or somewhere, so I think it’s cool.”

While many teachers force students to leave their gifts outside of the classroom, others embrace the holiday and everything that comes with it.

“I don’t mind when they bring in flowers and balloons,” math teacher and coach Abigail Salas said, “I usually just have them leave their stuff in the back of the room.”

On the other hand, however, the day can quickly turn from a celebration of romance into an excuse to measure affection through chocolates and flowers and a painful reminder that you’re single.

“I would say that my heart always hurts for the people that aren’t included,” English teacher Robin Belden said, “My concern is usually just seeing kids who don’t get a flower or anything. I don’t like it because I feel bad for them and I feel that it’s distracting in that way because it’s more of a mental or an emotional distraction than anything else.”

“I think that valentines day is good for the students who have somebody, but for the kids who don’t I think it’s a downer and that it makes them feel bad when they see everybody else with bouquets and flowers and balloons,” says Spanish teacher Juanita Castillo, “Sometimes it’s just better to keep it out of the classroom; that way, there’s no hurt feelings. We already know it’s going to be a high stress day for a lot of kids, and I think that carrying the balloons around and the chocolates and the flowers and the teddy bears are just distractions.”

The important thing is to remember school policy and be aware of how other people are feeling on Valentine’s day.

“I’m big on school rules, so I get irritated when I have to say anything. I love it, as long as they remember that they have to keep the big stuff at home,” Williams said.

“I don’t get annoyed by it, I just think that it should be limited,” Castillo said, “Keep it tactful and not tacky.


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