Stop! Hammer time in science lab


Photo provided

Miles Gifford and other students use cabbage juice to determine if household chemicals are acids or bases.

Cadyn Qualls

“There’s just some things you can’t unsee,” high school principal Randy Rose said as he shook his head.

Just a week prior to this statement, Mr. Rose had noticed a commotion coming from the boy’s bathroom, only to walk in on various boys switching pants with each other. Though this wasn’t the first time this had occurred, he assured the student body that it would be the last.

On any given science lab day in the high school building, it is probable to come across an array of mismatched clothing and shoes throughout the halls. It comes as no surprise to see anything from noticeably baggy pants to shoes that look as if they would leave one’s foot purple. If you’re not accustomed to this weekly routine, you may even mistake someone for MC Hammer.

However, for most students, these near fashion emergencies are the price they are willing to pay. In order to receive full credit for a lab assignment, students are required to wear long pants and closed-toed shoes. It may seem like a pointless rule to some, but biology teacher Mrs. Mandy McFall assures that it is enforced for student safety.

“It is state-mandated that we follow all safety guidelines, and we don’t have aprons at our school,” McFall said.

Though this has always been a known rule, it frequently seems to slip through the minds of students. This is where the switching of pants and shoes comes into play throughout the school day. No matter the difference in size or stature, students are willing to swap clothes in order save themselves or their friends from receiving a bad grade when they show up to class in sandals or shorts.

It is state-mandated that we follow all safety guidelines.

— Mandy McFall

As a sophomore last year, Dax Hurst did just that for classmate Tanner Cecil when he showed up for school in shorts.

“Dax and I had lab at different hours and I wore shorts, while he had worn sweatpants,” Cecil said. “We switched pants and it looked like I wore yoga pants while Dax’s pants were so big that he could fold the pockets over to opposite sides.”  

Mrs. McFall has been faced with this issue for all 12 years she has taught and has undoubtedly seen some interesting sights. With some she makes a comparison to the famous “Tommy-Boy” scene, in which Chris Farley wears a coat obviously not fitted for his size and rips it when he moves the wrong way.

Though most people realize their mistake before their designated class period and switch with a classmate, Mrs. McFall says this is not always the case.

“You would think that people would catch on after hearing other people talk about lab, but they don’t,” she said.

As for the future, Mr. Rose, along with a few teachers, are ready to drop the hammer on this situation.