Yesterday morning one of my seventh graders was more reserved than normal, and I asked her what was the matter. She told me her stomach was a little upset, so I asked her what she had for breakfast. She thought for a second and matter-of-factly replied, "Gum." Gum for breakfast! Can you imagine that?
However, her dietary regimen was no surprise. From what I've seen, middle schoolers are the molar grindingest, gum smackingest, cud chewing masticators imaginable. I've seen cows grazing in a field that would appear to have a bad case of lockjaw compared to middle schoolers ruminating on a piece of chicle.
The middle schoolers at our school are allowed gum on campus but not in the classrooms, and I think that's a mistake. I say, "Decide whether gum chewing is allowed or gum chewing is forbidden, but no in between. We have to chews."
However, based on my observations on their obsession to rend juice out of a piece of Wrigley's, outlawing middle schoolers from chewing gum in our schools for six and a half daylight hours would lower gum sales so rapidly and the loss of tax revenue would be so devastating that the local economy would completely collapse overnight.
PS I fixed the student up quickly with a little container of low-fat yogurt and she was fine.
PPS I always have lots of ideas to make money that I never put into action. If it hasn't already been marketed, peddling bubble gum flavored yogurt to kids is one of those good ideas.