• December 21WMS Boys Basketball Plays AMS today at 4:00 in AMS
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The Warrior Messenger

The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

The student news site of Woodbridge Middle School

The Warrior Messenger

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How can behavior in schools improve?

Ashlynn Lynch
Entrance way to WMS

Behavior in schools has been a subject of conversation for three years since coming back from being virtual. Articles say that it will take at least  three to five years for students’ lives to go back to normal after the pandemic. 

 Besides quarantine, social media is probably the biggest cause of negative behavior especially with younger generations.  In a recent interview Mr O’Halloran, Vice Principal at Woodbridge Middle said, ”I don’t think there is just one cause for bad behavior.” 

Social media

Research has shown over and over again that social media is a big influence on people’s behaviors / lives. Mr. O’Halloran said, ”We should keep social media at a distance during the school day”. 

Columbia University Irving Medical Center wrote an article that stated, ‘social media can also provide platforms for bullying and exclusion, unrealistic expectations, and sources of popularity, normalization of risk-taking behaviors, and can be detrimental to mental health.’ This article talks about all the outcomes of social media and why it’s bad for future generations social well being.

Giuliana Traschetti, an 8th grader at WMS stated,”Social media is toxic but I feel like everyone has it, and that’s what makes it toxic…I think life without technology would be better.” It seems as if so many people say this yet they do nothing to restrict or change their ways of using social media. Even though apps and iPhone companies have put into place settings where time can be restricted on apps many people don’t know or use it. 

Studies by the Annie E. Caesy Foundation reveals that social media and the rise of depression, low self-esteem, and eating disorders have been strongly linked together. Social media is also one of the leading causes of disruption of neurological development which can lead to depression or suicidal behavior or thoughts.  

Social media is also bad for younger children because it can make them feel like they need to grow up faster to look like celebrities or other people they admire. Cyberbullying is now the most common type of bullying because of the easy access to social media and online chats. Mr. O’Hallloran said, “Social media is also used to spread a lot of harmful messages.”

While social media can be helpful, there are many guidelines that people find ways around and it starts to create a toxic environment for users. Mr O’Halloran said,“Social media is–I think it’s toxic first and foremost. I think people tailor an idea of themselves and who they are and then viewers try to emulate that and I think that’s so divorced from reality that people try to model themselves off of an unrealistic expectation.”


Back in December 2022, WMS had us take a survey for positive and negative behavior and the way people act towards each other. 46% of kids in WMS disagreed with the statement ‘Students at this school: are kind to one another.’ That’s 183 students and only 30 students said they strongly agree that people at this school are kind to each other.

45% of students disagree that students in this school respectfully discuss different points of view. Students should be able to discuss their own opinions without any negativity. 

39% of WMS students disagree that students at this school can resolve their problems with other students. 

Student perspective 

Many students in WMS have seen behavior that many teachers and staff members may or may not see. Given this we have interviewed some of the students to get their outlook on respect and what it’s like in WMS. One person we interviewed was Cameron Hammond, a 6th grader at WMS. We asked her if she feels respected at WMS, “Yeah, [I feel respected] by everyone.” However, she also states “I feel like some people can be a little [bit] not kind.“ 

Butterfly Effect and what we can do

In Woodbridge Middle School our teachers and principal make fundraisers and collect money so they can pay for assemblies that teach us about being kind towards one another. Giuliana Traschetti, an 8th grader stated,”I don’t feel like the point of the assemblies we have gets across to many people.”I think it’s better to have an assembly than not, even if it gets through one kid, two kids then it’s getting through somebody.”

The butterfly effect is small things, including change that can have much greater impacts and conditions that may alter the outcome of anything. This effect is everywhere. Let’s say you said something kind to someone else that might make their day and then they might go say something nice to someone else. Or it can be vice versa and someone can say something rude. 

The Butterfly Effect is a chain leading from person to person. We asked Hammond if she knew about the butterfly effect and if she thought she took part in it, she replied, “I feel like if someone says something nice to me I have the motivation to say something nice back.” 


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