The gum tree


Kadie Davis

The “Gum Tree” is located directly outside the boys’ locker room.

Teagan Killoran and Kadie Davis

In the JoLane courtyard, there is a tree with a bunch of chewed up gum stuck to it, this tree is known as the “Gum Tree.” But what is the purpose of this tree? Does it show school spirit? Or is the gum just from careless students who don’t care enough to throw away their gum? The Pioneer Post interviewed multiple staff and gave out surveys to the eighth grade. We were left with multiple statements and opinions. Some questions were answered, some were left unanswered.
Mrs. Opp, Mr. Poore, Mrs. Fischer, and Mrs. Berggreen were all asked questions about the gum tree. Mr. Poore was the only one who really knew much about the gum tree’s purpose. He informed us that, “It’s kind of a tradition\; people have been doing it for a long time.” He didn’t see it as a problem or gross. However Mrs. Opp didn’t have the same feelings, “Well I think it’s disgusting,” She also said that she would prefer kids to throw away their gum, but as long the gum doesn’t end up anywhere else than the tree, she is fine with it.
The next question to be answered was whether or not it should be cleaned. “We’ll take the gum off every summer when you guys are done,” stated Mr. Poore.
We asked Mrs. Fischer and Mrs. Berggreen if they knew when the gum tree began since no one else knew, but even they (who have worked here for a long time) didn’t know.
Overall from these interviews, we learned a lot about the gum tree and how some staff feel about it.
The Pioneer Post gave out surveys to the eighth grade, who responded with various opinions and statements. On the survey, we asked what they thought the purpose of “The Gum Tree” was. The options were spirit answered with their very own opinion. One person said it was more of a fun joke than spirit.
We also asked people if the gum tree has no purpose (it is just a part of students being lazy), or another thought about the tree. Most thought that students were just being lazy, but some thought the purpose was spirit. So they had ever put gum on the tree personally. Most people answered no, and the people who answered yes said they were “contributing.”
The last question asked was what they thought should happen to the gum tree. Most felt that as long as the gum is not bad for the tree, it’s fine if the school leaves it where it is. Others thought it should be cleaned up by the kids who put gum on the tree.
Although when and why the gum tree began is still a mystery, we do know that it is a tradition and it is cleaned at the end of the school year. The surveys gave helpful information and thoughts and the surveys maybe let those students put some thought into what the gum tree symbolizes. The Gum Tree is a way to symbolize school spirit and tradition.