From Enthusiasm to Apathy: How School Spirit is Quickly Fading

DIOGENES

Diogenes was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy. He believed that virture was better revealed in action rather than theory. He used his voice to criticize the social values and institutions of what he saw as a society whose values had regressed. The character of Diogenes will be used in the Scope to maintain the anonyminity of the author in editorials such as this one. Maintaining the integrity of our paper is something that we treat with the utmost respect. We have chosen to publish this anonymous article, but with that, the responsibility of the content falls on us, the editors. While we may or may not agree with what the writer states, we stand by their article and take full responsibility for it. KG & BC

It’s 9:45 in the morning. The class bells ring and a minute later the trills of the announcement bell sound throughout the school. Students in classrooms throughout CHS lose focus. Some start talking. Others pull out their phones. In still others, teachers continue lecturing. The morning announcements have begun. Over the PA system, someone reads off a sheet of paper again. The same messages ring throughout the school. Green club meets on Fridays in H3. Key Club meets on Tuesdays. Or is it Wednesdays? Does anybody really know? Or care? What if the announcer told us that a mass murder had happened in Room 108? Would anybody be paying enough attention to hear?

The announcements exemplify CHS nowadays. CHS has become increasingly a “cookie-cutter” school. The walls are graced with the same posters day after day. The only time new ones show up is during the first semester of senior year, when students choose to complete their senior projects by starting up a club. However, these clubs always seem to fizzle out. Even the poetry that adorned the walls last year is gone.

Some of this can be attributed to tighter regulation on what is put up on the walls. Everything must be signed by a staff member. At first, this may appear to be positive; it serves as a preventative measure to harmful material. Yet, I cannot remember a time when much of CHS was riled up about something that was posted on the walls. Instead, this regulation creates an ‘elitist’ society at CHS, where only those most knowledgeable of the system feel comfortable using it. Since Penguin Club last spring, no non-Leadership event has been advertised by a student on paper larger than 8.5×11 at CHS.  

A breath of fresh air is found in the weight room on football game days. There, the cheerleaders personalize messages to a handful of Spartan football players. While a small gesture, these posters are the last bastion of poster personality at Corvallis High.

The key to change is students’ freedom of speech. In 2014, a Minnesota school district was forced to fork over $70,000 after searching a 6th grader’s Facebook account when the middle schooler posted that her hall monitor was ‘mean’. If Spartans want change or to express their personality, they must use their First Amendment rights. “If we don’t encourage young people to use their First Amendment rights, our society is deprived of their creativity, energy, and new ideas”, says Mary-Beth Tinker, winner of the famous Tinker v. Des Moines Supreme Court Case regarding her decision to wear an armband protesting the Vietnam War in school. ”This is a huge loss, and also a human rights abuse.”

In conclusion, the rejuvenation of CHS culture must start with the students. Students must be determined to make a change, and be willing to stand up for their freedom of speech rights do to it.

 

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