Kids In Charge: My Way or the Highway

“What will we use to mark the lines? It’s carpet so we can’t do tape or paint, we’ll get in trouble.”

“How will we deal with the lockers?”

“What if people start walking the wrong way? Do we fine them?”

“Should we do this in the whole school, or just in the main hallway?”

He hadn’t expected so many questions. After all, coming up with the idea was the hard part, right? He figured the details would be worked out… somehow. But there were so many questions, and he wasn’t sure he had the answers.

As DJ stood up front feeling very vulnerable, the girl from his P.E. class, Olivia, rose from her seat.”Great questions, everyone. I’m sure DJ has thought through some of the details, but I think the rest of them we need to sort through together.”
She started writing each question on the whiteboard at the front of the room. Then, they went through the issues one by one.

“Velcro!” one sixth grade representative shouted as they discussed the first question. “I bet we could use that Velcro stuff – my mom put it in my closet on the wall so I could hang something, and I don’t think it messes up the wall at all if you take it off.”

“Perfect, we’ll test that out,” Olivia said, looking to DJ for confirmation. He gave a thumbs up.

“For the lockers, I was thinking we’d make a little area to pull off from the main road – like the road in front of the school,” DJ contributed.

“I don’t think we should fine people for anything involving the road until we know what kinds of problems we might have.

Let’s test it out first,” a seventh grader chimed in on that issue. They all voted and agreed.

In the end, they decided to test out the “road” in the main hallway only. It took three weeks to pass the formal legislation, buy the supplies and set up the thoroughfare.

When DJ showed up to school the Monday after the road was set up, he was surprised to see a big ribbon across the hall. “There you are!” Olivia waved to him as she stood in front of a huge crowd. “We need you to cut the ribbon… so we can officially open the road!”

Surprised at his sudden fame, DJ took the pair of safety scissors and worked his way through the shiny ribbon. Snip! The last piece was free and it fell to the floor – the road was officially open!

Students began filing down one side, some taking advantage of the “shoulder” where they could get to their lockers without being crushed. Olivia and DJ watched as the hallway filled with students and teachers walking opposite directions, but not bumping into each other.

“Now,” Olivia said, motioning for DJ to walk with her. “Don’t block the highway – let’s go!”

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