The halls of Plant have gone TikTok viral – and not for a good reason.


Ava Satterfield

Crowding the hallway, Plant students squeeze tight while walking to their next class. Plant is experiencing a record student population this school year, and students say the hallways feel more cramped than ever.

 As Plant experiences its largest student population to date, the hallways are more crowded than ever. There are 2,495 students enrolled at Plant this school year, 351 more than the 2020-2021 school year. Plant’s record number of students has been the subject of recent Tik Tok fame.  

Sophomore Reagan Goss filmed a five-second video in the Plant hallway during a passing period that currently has 154,800 views and 51,000 likes on Tik Tok. Goss said she is often pushed in the hallways and made the Tik Tok to show the crowding in the hallways.  

“Plant is definitely more crowded this year than last,” Goss said. “I made the Tik Tok because I was bored in the hallway and didn’t know it would get a lot of likes.”  

In the comment section, Tik Tok users expressed concern with the number of students in the hallway.  

“Is this [what] public school looks like,” one user posted. “WHY ARE YOUR SCHOOLS SO OVERPOPULATED????,” another account wrote.  

Last school year, Plant was at 103% capacity, meaning more students were enrolled than Plant is fit to hold. The percentage over capacity should rise this school year, as there are currently 33 more students at Plant this year than at the end of last year.  

While students feel tight in the hallways here, other schools in the Hillsborough County Public Schools district are worse off. Roosevelt Elementary School was at 125% capacity last year. Sumner High School was at 174% capacity, with 1,699 additional students enrolled than the school is meant to hold.  

The Hillsborough County Public Schools district did not respond to a request for a comment on what they are doing to combat the overpopulated schools in the Tampa Bay area. 

Tampa has experienced a population surge in the past couple of years. Many East Coast and California residents moved to Florida during the pandemic, and these migrations to the Sunshine State are expected to continue. A report by the Office of Economic & Demographic Research estimated that Florida will gain 294,756 net new residents per year for the next five years, which equates to 808 each day.  

“These increases are analogous to adding a city about the size of Orlando every year,” the report said.  

Plant’s student population has risen alongside Tampa’s population. Plant has recently added portable classrooms behind the gymnasium to support the growing number of students.  

Junior Dagny Sammis is feeling the effects of the crowded hallways at Plant. She said teachers need to be more tolerant with giving out tardies.  

“I think we definitely need more leniency with pass time between classes, the hallways are often so crowded it’s impossible to get past with time to get to class before the bell,” Sammis said. “And I don’t think it’s fair to penalize the students for that. It is very overcrowded and at times overwhelming to be in the hallways with that amount of people.”