Personally, I would recommend against ANY freshmen doing it since their reed hardness will likely change over the course of the year. Keep in mind that a synthetic reed (such as a Legere) may not need to be wet to play, and may be consistent, it breaks/chips just as easily as a cane reed, yet it costs on average 10 times what a cane reed does. If you have kids learning to negotiate their instrument with a uniform, sash, cape, gauntlets, et al, then it's not a sound investment.
YMMV. I know of some top players that exclusively play synthetic. But for your typical run-of-the-mill high school kid, I would recommend against.
Maybe there's a clarinet major that could convince me otherwise, since 90% of my argument against isn't due to the reed, it's due to immaturity (literal and physical).