Mr. Garst’s Opinion On Walking Downtown

Lei Chan, Contributor

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Students at Andrew Lewis have been walking to Downtown Salem Fridays after school for years. While students are downtown they typically go to restaurants like Fruitions and Mac and Bobs, shops and stores, some even go to the Salem Public Library.  Students walk to celebrate the last day of school of the week or to just hang out with friends for fun. However, there have been problems regarding students walking: students pulling stunts, causing issues in public, and other things that the staff of various downtown destinations complain to the principals at Andrew Lewis about.

Mr. Garst was interviewed regarding this as it concerns most everyone involved with Andrew Lewis.

When asked about how he felt about students walking downtown,  Mr. Garst replied with, “I do not recommend that students go walking. The idea of it isn’t negative, but due to current and past instances, I don’t view it in much of a positive light. I prefer it when students go home on the bus or as a car rider.“

Mr. Garst was also asked, what are some issues that occur when students go downtown? He responded with, “Some, not all, students make poor decisions when they go walking including inappropriate fighting and outbursts in public.”

When asked about examples of complaints about student’s behavior Mr. Garst explained that complaints they have received in the past include:

  • When students going to the Mill Mountain Coffee Shop and don’t buy anything, being loud, and even disturbing other customers.
  • Going to the Farmers Market and leaving trash all over the area.
  • In general just being disrespectful.

The final question Mr. Garst was asked is what would be some things that students should be aware of if they do go walking? His reply was to be aware of your surroundings, follow the law, and follow basic safety rules.

Walking downtown is not always a negative thing. In the words of Mr. Garst, “ When middle schoolers go out as a group, they don’t think as individuals, they think as a group. When making a decision, you may not think as thoroughly about whether something is a good or bad decision.¨ Walking can be fun, but we need to be aware that walking can get us in trouble. Knowing what’s right or wrong can keep us safe while allowing us to have fun.

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