We have all broken the rule or seen someone break the rule at school: chewing gum. Although we may be allowed to chew the flavored rubber in some classes, we may not be allowed in others. So, the question is “Why do some of our teachers hate to see gum in our mouths?” We know why. No one wants to be the one to have stepped on the stretchy, fresh gum or to have touched the hard bumps under the desks. But, those reasons should not determining reasons whether or not we should be allowed to chew gum on school grounds.
Some teachers and students view that chewing gum in class is distracting. The chewers blow balloons and smack their gums, and after they finish, they stick their gums on places where they should not be. We may find it quite disgusting to discover splattered rubber wherever we go, but gum helps us in the long run.
Experts have proven that gum can help keep students awake during the seven long hours at school. According to the British Journal of Psychology, “Chewing gum can help you stay focused for longer on tasks that require continuous monitoring.” Kate Morgan and her colleagues from Cardiff University gathered data from 38 participants, which were split into a group with gum and a group without gum. Both groups were given a 30-minute audio test of listening to random numbers from 1-9. They had to observe the pattern in the audio, and those who were chewing gum performed better overall.
Many students receive stress from school, and gum can lower their anxiety levels. Experts found that the rhythmic motion of constant jaw movement puts people in a relaxed state and alleviates tension. Chewing gum can reduce the cortisol levels, which are stress hormones that let your body know what situation you are in. Furthermore, if students are not as stressed as usual, they can bring more positivity to school.
I remember my second-grade teacher always handing out Wrigley’s Doublemint before tests so that we perform twice as better. Ever since then, my love for gum grew and sometimes at school, I would even chew three pieces of gum every day. So, when I had the chance, I would always pop a piece of gum before tests in only the classes I was allowed to chew in. If the rest of my teachers allowed gum, I would probably be able to do better in their classes and feel more comfortable.
Holly Bae, Grade 9
La Cañada High School