Why We Should Get Rid Of The Gum Wall


There is one word that can describe the gum wall: disgusting. The gum wall that spans across the entirety of the back wall outside of yellow wing is plastered with hundreds of pieces of gum that have been previously chewed by students. This grotesque wall is looked at by some as a ‘tradition’ that shows school spirit, but in reality it represents how gross people can be. Remember all the times you have placed your hands or legs under a table and have felt the unsettling bump of someone’s old, already chewed gum? Now imagine that there was an entire spot where students took all of their unwanted gum and stuck it to rot for years. That is what the gum wall is.

Jacob King, a senior, was asked about the gum wall. 

¨I think it is pretty gross. It doesn’t look good, but I guess I can see how it adds personality to the school. But I still think it is disgusting.¨ 

This tradition dates all the way back to the 1990s when a wall in Seattle became the first gum wall. In an alley next to Pike Place Market, the first of hundreds of thousands of pieces of gum was placed on a wall. Now the wall is littered with the many colors of people’s chewing gum. While some people admire this place for its ‘unique’ art style, others complain about the foul stench that comes with it. Is that something that we want associated with our school? The only difference between the wall in Seattle and our wall, is that their wall actually has enough pieces to make it look artistic. Our wall barely has enough pieces to look even close to art, but rather a mess of poorly drawn symbols. 

Rather than a gum wall, we could turn the wall into something more visually appealing like an art wall. Instead of trying to draw pictures or symbols with chewed up gum, we could have the wall dedicated to paintings that anyone is allowed to contribute to. This would provide a similar experience to the gum, but without the disgusting idea of people’s saliva covered, waxy substance all over the school wall.

This gum wall should be removed immediately. For too long has this wall been able to remain in this state. It is horrible to look at and serves no purpose other than for students who want to goof around and leave their gum somewhere other than the trash. In order for the school to look as clean and professional as possible, the wall should be cleansed of its gum. When students or guests are walking by, they won’t be subjected to the unsavory appearance of the gum wall. Instead, they can pass by without any nasty feelings and go on with their day. 



“The Gum Wall of Seattle.” Atlas Obscura, Atlas Obscura, 9 July 2009, www.atlasobscura.com/places/gum-wall.