In regards to your story on the new Higley integration of preschoolers with middle schoolers (“New Higley middle school campuses also host new preschoo, pre-k programs”; Tribune; Sept. 18), I would like to refute any arguments against the new program. I can already see the reasoning, “The middle schoolers would be a bad influence on the younger kids.” But this is the reasoning I least understand.
What is it specifically about middle schoolers that is so inappropriate? Perhaps a good reason is that the middle schoolers are more driven by hormones, and can influence recklessness and rebellion in the younger preschoolers; however even this strong argument presents flaws. However, hormones will always affect youth directly or indirectly. Personally I started puberty in seventh grade. And I had two friends who each started puberty at very different times in their life: one started in fifth grade and the other didn’t start until 10th grade. So, no matter what, youth have of the chance of being indirectly influenced by hormones. They will also always have the chance of being directly influenced by hormones, since many kids can experience the effects of hormones.
Realistically, the program can offer many benefits to both age groups. It can prep the younger kids who will enter middle school, while mellowing down the behavior of older kids. It can allow for more constructive mentoring programs, giving younger kids more ways to learn and older kids more leadership opportunities. If the kids are properly integrated, this could be really positive.