The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

‘Senior Movement’ looks to make high school transition smoother


Mahek Khetani| Staff Witer

Everybody remembers their gawky, 14 year-old selves pushing through those Johnson doors for the very first time, trying so hard to hide that first day confusion. But thanks to the wisdom of an older class, Johnson seniors have established “Senior Mentors” in order to aid freshmen in their first year of high school.

“Its basically all of us, we all come together and we talk about ways to improve helping freshmen like sitting with them at lunch, walking with them from class to class and I think they feel safer and for sure they feel more welcomed to high school since its so new for them,” Senior Fernando Cruz said.

The student run program creates a sympathetic and helpful approach for freshmen that are having issues by taking actions into their own hands rather than involving administrators and counselors, unless needed.

“This girl was getting teased by another freshman because she’s new to a certain sport team and she would constantly get messages telling her how bad she sucked at this sport and everyday she would come to me crying and she was afraid, so I just talked to her and I’d practice with her after school hours and now she’s starting over! The girl that was bullying her stopped because she proved herself through, and it was really cool to see that,” said senior Caitlin Schwartz.

The objective in Senior Mentoring isn’t just limited to comforting distressed freshmen but also giving students confidence in their daily lives, with or without their guardian.

“Our goal is mainly to have every single kid that comes to Johnson not have like any fear of not being safe or being scared, and it changes them tremendously, it makes them feel like they’re welcomed here and if they have a problem they have people to talk to,” said junior Garrett Acker.

The senior mentors recognize the discomfort in approaching a faculty member with troubles, so rather than narrowing to the problem to punishing the bully, the group works on tending to the victim.

Seniors discuss ideas to help reduce bullying at Johnson.

“We just show them the importance of not saying anything back or not having a negative reaction but like physical bullying does actually happen too like people do get in fights, people do feel threatened and feel like somebody wants to fight them, we really just let the victim student know that you’re there for them and they can come to you and its our responsibility to take action,” said senior Christina Werkle.

Despite personal beliefs on whether or not bullying seems to be an issue at our school, the program is receiving much positive feedback among both students and teachers.

“I don’t really see much of anything besides a little teasing but I think the program is necessary because a lot of freshmen are new to this school and might not have friends cause they moved from another state or city so its good for seniors to help them out and maybe the seniors have had experience in things like this so they know what to do,” said freshman Daniel Arkhipov.

A popular concern with students being harassed is the belief that teachers refuse to care or take action, though it’s a factor in why The Senior Mentoring program was established, it’s not an entirely true statement.


“I think sometimes kids don’t realize that there is stuff going on behind the scenes like if you were to come to me and say oh this kid is bullying me I’m not gonna come back to you and say ‘I want you to know that I called his parents, he got this punishment, this is what we did,’ you know? We don’t come back to you to tell you that because truly we have handled it with that kid so going back to you, for lack of better terms, it’s none of your business what we did but if it doesn’t stop you need to keep coming back so we can continue to do other steps with that student,” said administrator Julie Shore.


The actions of the seniors have many goals to yet achieve but so far, the students believe they’ve set an example for other upperclassmen while making freshmen and other kids feel safeguarded and confident about coming to school everyday.


“The freshmen kinda look up to the senior class now and everybody in the senior class is starting to follow our lead and now helping out all the freshmen as well. You know, bullying is something that you don’t really see but it’s always going on, it’s something that if you have a closed perspective you’re not gonna see it but if you open your eyes, you’ll see it going on in school,” Said senior Mac Hall.

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‘Senior Movement’ looks to make high school transition smoother