Fall Issue: 2016
Lunchroom app could unite students
A 16 year old student from Sherman Oaks California, Natalie Hampton, has created an app called “Sit With Us.” The app is designed to help students find people to sit with during lunch so they don’t have to sit alone.
“She was inspired to create it after she ate alone her entire seventh grade year,” reported The Huffington Post, “The situation left Hampton feeling vulnerable and made her a target for bullying.”
Hampton felt an app was necessary because it’s a way to stop bullying. “It prevents kids from being publicly rejected and being considered social outcasts by their peers.” quoted by The Huffington Post.
Anna Muenchen, a Junior at Kings High School says, “ An app like this is necessary at Kings because we get a lot of new kids, foreign exchange students, and freshman each year who either don’t know anybody or don’t know anyone in their lunch.”
Bullying isn’t a big problem at Kings, the interactions between students are positive and having an app such as Sit With Us, would help students form new friendships.
“Our community expectations on behavior, respect, and tolerance is incredibly impressive. I believe our kids buy into the fact that our staff genuinely cares about them. We respect them and we expect that respect to be returned.” says Doug Leist, Kings High School Principal.
“This app would help with the bullying at school because the kids being bullied will have at least one safe space where they have a support system and where they don’t feel alone,” says Muenchen.
So how does the app work? “The app allows students to designate themselves as ambassadors thereby inviting others to join them,” according to The Huffington Post.
Ambassadors are then able to post “open lunch” events which allow students who are looking for a place to sit to join the ambassadors table and create a new lunch group.
“I think Kings students would benefit from this app because everyone would know where to sit and it would really help people expand beyond their friend groups,” says Muenchen.
An app like this would help the students at Kings form better relationships and get to know each other beyond what each student thinks or says. Furthermore, because cell phones and media play a big part modern day, it wouldn’t be difficult for students to set up open lunch events and sit with a group of students they’ve never talked to.
“I think all kids would benefit from something like this. I see kids sit in the exact same seats with the exact same people. It’s almost like a self-imposed seating chart,” says Leist. “The problem is there are SO MANY COOL PEOPLE that sometimes we don’t get a chance to meet because of those social safety nets.”
By Juste Kirieliute