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Students have mixed reactions to survey presentation

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Students have mixed reactions to survey presentation

Mira Costello, Midway Reporter

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A summary of the student wellness survey results, released on Oct. 12, has sparked discussions among students about the implications of the data.

Though the summary was initially released only to parents, students who gained access to it were the first to ask questions. Senior Michelle Husain, founder of mental health club, said she was concerned about the executive summary’s low accessibility to the student body, especially since students were the sole respondents to the survey.

“If this is about the Lab community,” she said, “why would it be given to them and not us students?”

“This data is not something that can be taken lightly,” All-School President Shiva Menta said. “It would be helpful to have a trusted adult to review it.”

The 81 percent of U-Highers who are stressed out could surprise someone, but for me it wasn’t surprising. I feel like a lot of it has to do with the pressure Lab in general puts on its students.”

— Michelle Husain, founder of Mental Health club

Some students said they are also troubled by the way the data is presented. While reading the results, senior Lukas Blume said he found the comparison to national averages off-putting.

“I think the school, and whoever wrote the page of results who is representing the school, has already made it clear that because their ‘bad’ statistics are lower than the national average, they aren’t concerned,” he said.

Michelle said that the averaging of middle and high school statistics also bothered her, as the environments have many differences in terms of stress, sleep and mental health.

Across the board, students were surprised by statistics in the “risk of physical injury” category: four students reported carrying a gun to school with unspecified intent, and 14 expressed knowledge of this.

“It’s common understanding for students that not enough people are getting sleep, that there’s a lot of homework happening,” Shiva said. “A lot of the discussion I’ve heard is actually around those guns and people bringing them to school.”

Shiva said students worry about a shooting at Lab, like Michelle, who said it was concerning that some students knew about weapons on campus but did not report them.

While some results are disturbing, students said they were mostly unsurprising.

“Of course I’m not going to be completely OK with everything I see, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I was surprised,” Shiva, who is focused on implementing change and hearing student input, said.

Michelle, while troubled by some of the mental health statistics, was also not surprised.

“The 81 percent of U-Highers who are stressed out could surprise someone, but for me it wasn’t surprising,” she said. “I feel like a lot of it has to do with the pressure Lab in general puts on its students.”

An updated survey with more specific questions will be released this spring. Until then, peer leaders and Student Council will meet with administrators to discuss next steps and hold discussion groups.

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