Gum chewing should be a privilege to students

October 10, 2008 — by Brian Tsai

A lot of students are too sleep-deprived to function in the morning, so they usually turn to a hot cup of coffee to keep them awake. If they can’t make the run to Starbucks without being late to first period, their first alternative is gum. The craving for sugary sweetness has become just as addicting as the need for caffeine.

Sadly, many teachers do not allow gum chewing in their classrooms because they find it causes too many problems. What they don’t realize is that gum chewing brings many benefits that can improve academic performance to students.
Instead of banning gum chewing, teachers should make it a privilege.

Gum chewing reduces stress. According to a study conducted by UK psychologists in 2002, gum chewing also improves memory. People who chewed gum during long and short-term memory tests performed better than those who did not.

Because some chewers blow bubbles, chew unnecessarily loudly and stick it in inappropriate places, many teachers squawk at the slightest hint of gum and prohibit it altogether.

Most students are mature enough to know not to make gum chewing annoying. If gum does become a problem, teachers can always enforce rules with penalties; for example, teachers should ban gum chewing only for those who pop their gum constantly. Students who stick their gum under tables can be forced to slave after school and scrape off two years’ worth of gooey messes from desks and chairs.

With gum being relatively harmless and perhaps healthy, teachers should consider letting students savor their Juicy Fruit openly instead of hiding it under their tongues during class. In the end, everyone will be happier and more alert.

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