Blake’s Bumpy Breakdown

As you know, we’ll start next year with a new principal, Mrs. Shanay Snead. While some are excited about the news others are concerned about what that means for next year. What will the changes be for the upcoming school year?  What situations and behaviors will no longer be allowed? While Mrs. Snead ponders these decisions, below are just a few things to reflect on based on this school year. 


There have been too many fights this year.  Guys, girls, freshmen, seniors, it truly doesn’t matter–apparently, anyone can get the smoke! Everyone remembers the three fights in the span of four days. So it’s not surprising when people are concerned about their safety in school. The real question is whether this is a priority enough for Mrs.Snead to try something different. It’s a safety concern, large groups of students in a small hallway pushing each other to see their peers brawl. What is it going to take for the unnecessary fighting to end? A new security team is not the way to a fight-free school. 

The number and intensity of fights aren’t the only things that are concerning– it’s also the protocols that are taken after. There hasn’t been much punishment for those who get into fights, giving the impression that the administration doesn’t care that much. If someone in the building is a danger to other students and has shown evidence of that, why would they go unpunished? Granted, most of the punished are left up to the MCPS administration. Yet, Students don’t feel safe in school and they should, which is the primary problem. Simply because a girl that caved into someone’s face yesterday is still allowed to walk into her World History Class. What are the protocols when there is a fight? As a student, I don’t believe we have any except making the kids sit in the office until school is over. If that is the case, we can all tell where the problem lies. You’re going to make kids who are turning into adults have an extended time out for hitting and give them the freedom to do the same thing over again tomorrow?

People in the hallways/participation in classes 

I’m usually in class, but I know I’m not the only one who notices all the kids who wander around the hallways until they find a friend or group to be loud with. It’s as if they all collectively think they are grown enough to decide that education isn’t working for them. And so instead of just staying home, they don’t go to class. Look, I don’t understand the logic, I just work here. The problem is that some students at Blake are truly trying to get their education. And the loud noises from the hallways are not the job description of being a student. It’s not just students who are getting distracted, it’s also teachers. We all know those teachers who think they are going to do anything by asking the students in the hall, β€œWhere are you supposed to be?” All this commotion just takes away the education of students who want to learn and staff who want to teach. 


Marijuana will become legal in Maryland on July 1, 2023, which won’t help the fact that some students are bringing drugs into the building and smoking them. Morning smoke is not good for your health nor is secondhand smoke, and the smell that continues to linger as we try to walk in the halls is irritating to say the least: a potent stench that everyone who goes to Blake is aware of. The lingering smell tells you exactly where students skip class just to burn plants. We’ve seen all the changes: vape detectors, moving mirrors, and bathroom doors wide open. So many changes to stop smoking, yet the action still remains the same. Plans and actions are only worth something if they are working for their purpose. If not, they are just a waste of time. I’m not trying to say that all the efforts to stop the practice are terrible, but they are not working as it stands. All you really need is that little push. Maybe this school’s push was getting a new principal; I guess we’ll see.

Performing Arts

Did you know that you go to an art school? You know with art shows, dance recitals, swing nights and so much more. If the answer was no, then that’s the problem. Blake is supposed to be the NEC arts school. We have incredible programs like photography, dance, and band, yet our programs are decreasing, and without help, they will soon disappear. I just don’t understand. We like to call ourselves a performing arts school, but we are losing the necessary participation and funds to continue these programs at their high level. Dancers, singers, artists, and musicians need an audience. There are many minor problems that make up this entire mess. One would obviously be Covid and how it decreased every freshmen’s exposure to the programs in person. But somehow they’re aware of all those AP classes they can take, only giving them stress and causing burnout in their first year of high school. When incoming freshmen come to the school, the first thing they should see is the band classes and the dance classes, as if they are the prize of the school. We, students, are only a prize when the administration believes that we should be seen. Students are having problems following their dreams. The dream of being a singer was crushed when her high school counselor told her; β€œMaybe you should focus on more important things.” But can we talk about what truly matters to the children you are actually tending to?