We are familiar with this rather gruesome word. An infestation of roaches may be an easy affiliation. Grabbling creatures that reside in the cracks of a dark basement wall, or nest in the shower drain.  It does not have a particularly positive connotation in the realm of modern English. Today, I will be using it to cover a topic that has truly grown to an intense height. We have an infestation of rumors. It is such a petty crime, with such an intensely baffling ripple effect.

    A friend of mine made the decision to drop out of the sport she was participating in to focus on her academic success. The day after she made it official, immediate rumors started. It was unsettling to hear them: “She dropped out because she’s pregnant.” Now how can such an impactful and possibly traumatic event be assumed to have ensued by the simple act of leaving a sports team? Furthermore, the fact that people who are strangers to her now look at her with an air of mocking or disgust. Even those who look upon her with pity, or even empathy miss the point.

     In today’s age, there are times when one can’t order cafeteria food without a person deciding it must be because their parents lost their jobs. There are many dangers to this toxic habit we have developed. With the way these rumors spread, there can be a sense of terror in even showing up to school. And not the kind we pride ourselves on. It is important to be street-smart. It’s important to understand there will always be people who initiate negativity. But, come on Palmer. High school is hard enough as is. Hard enough with the academic and physical stress put upon students. Hard enough with the pressure of adults and the pressure we put on ourselves.

     Thinking about it logically, how do we even have time to judge and critique our peers? Everyone has personal struggles, and I think we can all relate to the struggles of a new school year. We don’t have to work harder; we just have to be kinder. And with all the dedication we have already, in showing up to class, locking down that education, I think we should all be capable of doing just that. So take a minute, call the exterminator. Take a trip to the hardware store. Together, we can repel this infestation.