You Checking? Hallway Culture


White Station Scroll

Two White Station students engage in checking in between classes.

Six buildings, more than 2,500 students and eight hours of constant foot traffic. Walking through the hallways of White Station High School, truly anything can happen. These crowded hallways can seem like a huge obstacle to many. An infamous and widely known phenomenon, however, has been brewing in White Station hallways for years. This phenomenon is known as “checking”, and it has been a cornerstone of student culture not only in Memphis but across the nation.

With only five minutes to get from point A to B, it can seem nearly impossible for some to make their way through the flood of students in every hallway. Add to this problem the many crowded staircases and physical obstacles that obstruct major hallways constantly.

In situations where students are clustered in hallways throughout the school, social interaction is quite common. This is where the art of “checking” truly becomes a part of student culture at White Station. Checking is understood by most to be a form of friendly teasing that any number of people can partake in. For many, checking comes naturally whenever a group of friends are around. When friends “check” each other, almost anything can be used to knock the other party involved.

“Literally any aspect of a person can be checked,” Miller Johnson (11) said. “Their body parts or attire are usually checked the most.”

As checking becomes an activity that more and more partake in, its presence in social interaction and widespread use across the United States has become much more prevalent.

“I often check my friends,” Johnson said. “It’s fun and gets people laughing.”

Skeptics of checking view it as just another form of bullying. Overall, these skeptics view anyone’s appearance or social status as things that should not be made into a joke. Those who regularly partake in checking, however, have a different opinion.

“I wouldn’t consider checking to be bullying,” Johnson said. “This is because both people usually laugh and find the check funny, which motivates them to come up with a better check to fire back with,”

Currently, neither White Station nor Shelby County Schools has a policy that deals specifically with checking. Although there is no such policy, bullying policies have been put in place in order to stop student action that is motivated by any form of discrimination. As long as students keep within the confines of bullying policies and are not breaking specific school policy, they are technically free to partake in checking on school premises.

Whether it happens in crowded hallways, classrooms, the cafeteria or any other area of the school, checking is something that is here to stay. With the spread of new slang and creative ways to interact, checking is bound to continue evolving within the realm of high school campuses everywhere.