The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

The Student News Site of Wilde Lake High School

The Paw Print

We Saw the Peace Room Rise and Fall, and Rise Again

I believe in second chances. The Peace Room was started by the Wilde Lake Restorative Justice Committee in 2021 and run by former teacher Ms.Wright. The original vision of the Peace Room was to help students with mental health issues as they transitioned back into normal school after the hardship of COVID-19.

After a year of running the Peace Room, Ms. Wright stepped down during the 2022-23 school year. The Peace Room’s vision was changed by her absence.

There was a lack of structure. Students were able to leave class whenever they wanted to go to the Peace Room. To me, this hurt students academically and caused them to fall behind in class.

Many students began to cut class because they did not need a pass to go to the Peace Room. They were allowed to roam free. Students were not being held accountable for using the Peace Room as an excuse to ignore learning.

The Peace Room also became increasingly crowded. Students who needed the room because of mental health issues were not able to benefit from the safe space because of the chaos from all the students using the room at once.

At the beginning of the 2023-24 school year, there were new rules implemented by the administration. Students were now required to check in with their teachers and receive a pass so they could go to the Peace Room.

In October 2023, Ms. Burgess, a special education teacher, permanently took over the Peace Room.

I believe she has given it more structure and held students accountable. She gave the Peace Room a second chance.

New Peace Room teacher Ms.Burgess puts up sign to remind kids of the new Peace Room rules. Students have to work instead of just hanging out. Photo by Caroline Sorensen.

Sophomore Jahdai Jenkins says the Peace Room is now much quieter than last year. This new environment allows students to effectively use the Peace Room for whatever their needs may be, she says.

The new environment found in the Peace Room is for the better. With these improvements, the original vision is restored. Now, you and I are able to use the Peace Room for its true purpose: to help and not hurt students.

By requiring students to have a pass and do schoolwork, students are staying engaged academically while taking a break from the traditional classroom setting. I find that Ms. Burgess’ new structure is what Wilde Lake as a whole needed.

The Peace Room is very important to Wilde Lake students and gives them a space to grow and get help. With the new rules being firmly implemented, more students will be able to enjoy the Peace Room again.

When something falls, there is always space for it to rise again. Second chances are a good thing. The Peace Room is a reflection of this fact.I am grateful for this second chance, and you should be, too. Use this second chance. Use the Peace Room for good.

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