If you could change one thing about Linganore, what would it be?


Aaron Burch and Lynn Fox fulfilling their duty of guarding the restroom doors in the minutes prior to the start of classes.

by Jimena Grajera, Reporter

Every school around the world has its good points and also areas in which it needs to improve. At Linganore High School, the administration is always trying to find those areas that need improvement to try to make the school a better place.

For example, students and the staff at the school took a climate survey on March 8 . The survey was organized by the state of Maryland and its purpose was to collect opinions from students to get a general idea of what needs to be improved within the school environment. 

This questionnaire collected questions on all topics related to the school but focused heavily on the use of drugs and alcohol within the school, bullying, different treatment between genders and races, the relationship between students and teachers, student’s mental and physical health and other topics about the school facilities.

While this survey is a good place to start, does it actually cover all students’ needs and opinions about their school? Is there more Linganore students have to say about what can make school a better place?

In an unofficial survey of the student population, students at Linganore were all asked the same question: If you could change one thing about the school, what would it be? Responses to this question were very diverse, and all students had different opinions on different topics. 

However, there were many common responses about certain things at Linganore that most students stated they wanted to change.

To start, almost every student that was interviewed asked for a change in the zero drugs policy. The use of drugs and vaping in the school bathrooms has been increasing, and even though the staff is trying to stop it, almost everyone keeps doing it without getting caught.

“Vaping and [the use of]  weed [is an issue] … there are no consequences for kids doing that,”  said Isabella Tiger, freshman at Linganore. “There are not really getting people for doing that, and people think that’s okay”

Some students even mentioned that the constant vaping in the bathrooms can give them headaches.

“I would like people to stop smoking drugs because I cannot [stand it],” said Jordis Dimmich, Linganore freshman. ”I have headaches all the time. It’s so bad.”

Other students added that there should be a change in the discipline policy of the high school in general, as many kids misbehave in class, do not follow the phone policy or simply fail to meet classroom behavioral expectations.

“Overall, it’s just being a lot of unacceptable behavior in classes, and none of that is going to change because they are being too lenient with their policies,” said Tiger.

The second most commonly mentioned topic is the different temperatures within the building. Students complain that in the school the temperatures are very extreme from one classroom to the next.

“It’s either warm or it’s cold, it can’t be both,” said Maddison Burnett, freshman at Linganore.

In one class, students can be seen wearing thick jackets because of how cold it is, while in others they are wearing short-sleeve shirts. Generally speaking, students ask for more stable temperatures in the school.

“The air conditioning and heating systems might have room for improvement,” said Tiger. “Sometimes, there is no in between; it’s always either really hot or really cold.”

Another topic that has prompted a lot of discussion is the extent to which students respect one another. How does the school atmosphere need improvement? Every student based on their experiences, had a different answer to this question. Some said that students are very respectful, while others completely disagree with that statement. Despite all the different opinions, almost all of students agreed on two topics:

The first point of agreement is that something needs to be done about the fights at Linganore Lately there have been a lot of fights around the school, and students record videos of them instead of trying to help. 

Dimmick is one student that commented on how fights have impacted the community.

 “Then there are the fights …they have been happening more and more and people are recording videos and stuff,” said Dimmick. “The fights are definitely pretty bad and that’s definitely not respectful.”

The second problem students agreed on is that students from historically marginalized groups are often picked on by other groups of people, and students do not try to stop it when they see it.

“I know a lot of people from different genders that are seen as inferior, and people that have different sexualities are often made fun of as well,” said Natalie Miller, freshman at Linganore.

Some students also asked for more support with mental health. While the school has definitely been focusing on improving the student’s physical health by adding the staff-student yoga during lunch and the staff walking challenges, most students agreed with this. Students call for more attention from the school to help those struggling with their mental health.

“With physical health, I think it’s pretty okay, but mental health wise… it’s not very good. I know I wake up every day and don’t really wanna go to school, and I think that’s a problem,” said Miller.

Special Education Teacher Traci Davies, a member of the school’s improvement plan (SIP)  team, shared the main objectives of the school’s improvement plan for the 2022-2023 school year. 

The school’s improvement plan is very broad and delves into many areas of the school including from academics to school culture. This year Linganore is mainly focused on attendance and health and wellness of both the staff and students, which coincidentally aligns with the predominant student concerns.

For attendance, the school is trying to work in teams to address cases of chronic absenteeism of students, since Davies made it clear that this is a “big problem” at the building.

Regarding health and wellness, Linganore is trying to improve the students and the staff’s health by organizing events such the eggnog jog, staff walking challenges or giving the opportunity to do yoga during lunch.

“We create  goals that focus on nutrition promotion, education about nutrition, about physical activity, and any other areas that could impact student overall wellbeing and health well being…  I think a lot of times we are not giving ourselves enough grace as teachers and as students, so finding time just for that mental, physical balance, so you are balancing your academics with your own wellbeing,” said Davies.