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Television During Lunch and Flex

Leandre Lowe, Writer

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Starting September of 2017, Mr. Manuppelli, the principal of New Milford High School, decided to set up four flat screen televisions for students of all grade levels to enjoy. These televisions are only allowed to be used during only lunch and during the Flex period, which can be a great time to get away from school’s pressure and work. Students, so far, have been using the televisions for gaming. When asked the purpose, Mr. Manuppelli stated that “Ultimately I wanted to create a place for students to have fun.” While that may not have been the intended (or sole) purpose of the televisions, Mr. Manuppelli has specifically stated that those who want to use the televisions for that purpose must follow specific rules in place for the safety and well-being of others:

  • No inappropriate games (blood, language, nudity, sexual themes)
  • Must sign up to play
  • Required parents permission to bring your own system
  • Sharing (is caring)
  • No inappropriate language while playing video games

When students were asked about how they feel regarding the TVs in the cafeteria, Dylan Carrick (‘19) claims that “It’s cool and I feel that they are a big improvement for the school.” Joe Dunkley (‘19) asserts that he “I don’t mind them… I like them sure, especially for our gaming.” Shane Callery (‘19) reiterates that he “…likes the idea of TVs in the lunchroom for video game purposes….because it gives me a break from school to have fun with friends.” Many students seem to have positive things to say about this decision that brought these televisions to the lunchroom and hopefully it continues to bring joy to the students for many years to come.

Though this has been set up for the enjoyment of the students, there are definitely some negatives that could occur if not monitored closely. One of the many possibilities that could happen is that people can be ignoring their work in school and just play video games. Another possibility is that it could create tension between students, depending on if they lose or win a game. Having people made fun of and taunted for those reasons can cause the environment to become toxic. If not controlled, people can get too loud, possibly disturbing people trying to enjoy lunch or disrupt the other people playing their own games. Since the students are all grouped in one single location, the responsibility to keep the place clean is shifted from that one person to everyone. The troublemakers can’t get caught due to the huge crowd that is surrounding the area, leaving their messes for the others having to clean up after them.

Due to this, Dylan Carrick (‘19) has been inspired to try starting a brand new club dedicated to video game news, as opposed to the video game club. This club is called “Esports Club,” and so far it has the go-ahead but needs students to sign up for it to become official. The “Esports Club” is the club that’ll hold tournaments and commentary on games. Another student, Gus Lipata (‘19), has been inspired by Dylan’s motives and wants to create a collaborative experience with Dylan focusing on the popular “Super Smash Bros.” title.

New Milford High School seems to be a first in this department; this allowance to play video games during lunch really shows the uniqueness of New Milford High School. Many believe that this is a really good idea since it gives students a great experience to relax and have some fun, to take their mind off things, and work collaboratively by playing together, ensuring that nobody can feel left out. As of now, Mr. Manuppelli can tell that the students that use these televisions are glad to have this and to hopefully keep this around throughout high school. This is definitely adding to each grade’s experience to something they won’t soon forget even well after high school.

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
Television During Lunch and Flex