Middle school was a ‘free-for-all.’ Students roaming halls during class, texting all day, fighting — even getting Door Dash food delivered. Then things turned around.

A Connecticut middle school was in a chaotic “free-for-all” last year, according to the Day, a New London newspaper.

What are the details?
Students were roaming the halls during class, texting each other all day, fighting — even getting Door Dash food delivered to them at school, the paper said.

Things got so bad at Teachers’ Memorial Global Studies Magnet Middle School that the central office staff of Norwich Public Schools — including Superintendent Kristen Stringfellow, Assistant Superintendent Tamara Gloster, and other administrators and support staff — moved into the school in February 2022 in an attempt to right the ship, the paper said.

The Day interviewed seventh- and eighth-graders recently who said the school’s atmosphere last year was a chaotic “free-for-all”; some students left classes and wandered the hallways, and fights broke out.

More from the paper:

Stringfellow said cellphones were everywhere, escalating confrontations, and enabling the take-out food orders. School rules require students to store cellphones in their lockers at the start of the school day.

Students would text one another all day ― “class to class, grade level to grade level,” Stringfellow said. A girl would accuse another girl of spending time with her boyfriend. A boy would post a photo on Snapchat of himself with a friend’s girlfriend. Fights would start among students in different school wings, who otherwise would not have seen one another. […]

Students used their cellphones to order take-out food bought to the school, Stringfellow said. Sometimes, parents ordered items for their children.

“DoorDash would come and ring the bell, and I would go to the front … and look at this poor delivery person and say, ‘What? You’re here to deliver this to a child?'” Stringfellow told the paper. “And the child was expecting me to take it, tip the man, and bring it down to the eighth-grade math class. It was bizarre.”

The paper said Stringfellow sent a letter to parents outlawing such food deliveries, stating the only outside food allowed was students’ lunches that they brought in or that got dropped off by parents if students forgot them.

“I’m not giving them their pizza that they can eat in front of all the other children in class,” Stringfellow added to the paper.

How things turned around…
New Principal Rayna Northcutt arrived at the school last spring before going on maternity leave in May 2022 and then returning this school year, the paper said, adding that overcrowded classes were split and deans of climate and culture were assigned to each grade. Norwich also reinstated school resource officers, the paper said.

Northcutt told the paper other changes were made to help improve student behavior: Teachers greet students at the front sidewalk each morning, all students have a 20-minute social emotional learning class, and each classroom contains a kinesthetic chair in “the calming corner” for students who need to step back and recompose.

In addition, Northcutt reactivated the student council, charging its members to address student needs and issues, the paper said.

Eighth-grade Student Council President Maya Veracruz, 13, told the paper the school’s climate this year has been “a lot better. There’s improved student activities, a lot more students enrolled, more people to talk to, less chaos.”

Northcutt called eighth-grader Nyasia Martin, 14, a “model student” — just a year after she was expelled for an undisclosed transgression, the paper said, adding that now Nyasia plans to go to Norwich Technical High School and study bio-tech nursing.

“I did my time, I’m back,” Nyasia told the paper. “I definitely improved my mindset. I’m definitely nicer, more understanding. It’s all about you — if you are motivated.”

You can read the entire story from The Day on Yahoo News.

* Article From: The Blaze