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Go Home Freshmen: Tradition or Torment?

Eden Beyene, Staff

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If you haven’t chanted it at lunch, you’ve definitely heard it during the Pep Rally. We are all familiar with sophomores and upperclassmen yelling “Go home freshmen!” during Spirit Week, and trying to “tag” members of the freshmen class. Is this treatment clean fun and tradition, or a problem at CHS? 

“I knew it was just a joke, and no one meant any harm by it,” freshman Bethlehem Wolde said about hostility towards freshmen.  

Wolde was apprehensive coming into high school. After hearing about the treatment of ninth graders, she thought no one liked them. Her first days here did not completely change this perception. 

“In gym, on the board… they wrote ‘Go Home, Freshmen’,” Wolde recalled.  

She also heard other classes talk about how annoying freshmen are; Wolde tried not to act like a freshman in her majority sophomore classes. 

Still, she regards the treatment as simply a joke. Freshman Ashley Metzbower is even less bothered. 

“I feel pretty respected here,” Metzbower said. 

However, Metzbower still agrees with Wolde pertaining to disrespect.  

“[Other students] were once freshmen, and I don’t think they liked the treatment,” Wolde stated. 

For this same reason, Metzbower believes it doesn’t make sense when older classes make fun of freshmen. 

But junior Jamie Pan sees what some freshmen consider disrespect as tradition. 

“It’s like an initiation,” Pan said. She has participated in the “Go Home, Freshmen” chant, but stated “there wasn’t any ill will.”  

She still acknowledged that the context of the chant is important: she believed it should only be said to friends and only around Spirit Week.  

“You have to convey that it is a joke,” Pan said.  

The administration, however, disagrees. 

“I definitely see [chanting ‘Go Home Freshmen’] as a bullying behavior. It’s certainly not the impression that we want to give the freshmen,” assistant principal Christy Moore-German said.  

It seems the chant is a glaring flaw in the otherwise fine treatment of freshmen. Freshmen do not appreciate what some view as “tradition,” even if they understand it is meant as a joke.  

Upper classmen are unrelenting, however, and the administration’s attempts to subdue chants are not always successful. Freshmen and upperclassmen have yet to strike a balance between tradition and respect. 

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Go Home Freshmen: Tradition or Torment?