You know I’ve thought long and hard about writing something regarding our policies and procedures at Stanwood High School. The food fight fiasco last week was really the final straw.
When my daughter began attending SHS in 2008, the way the school was run was vastly different. Not vastly different from other schools (which allowed a lot more fun) but vastly different from now. Going to sporting events and participating in school activities were fun. Kids wanted to go to them. Sure there were kids that still wanted to party but there was at least an option, a great alternative to those that didn’t or those that had signed their code of conduct’s as athletes.
Things like shooting t-shirts into the stands at football games, as well as other prizes, being able to have a little school spirit, face paint, special food and spartan paraphernalia. School spirit is that thing where kids take pride in their school. Where they are allowed to bark out cheers and jeers to the other team and their fans and have fantastic time doing it. Something where as you went home that night you were happy, regardless if your team won or lost. Slowly and one by one, over the years all of that has been stripped away.
Students have five cheers they are allowed to do. They’re not allowed to get too rowdy. God forbid they be allowed to display any unnecessary frivolity. Watching the attendance plummet at events is so ridiculously sad. Seeing the increase in partying for lack of anything better to do is even more unfortunate.
As a kid in high school, Kentridge Senior High, EVERY sporting event was populated, every dance was attended. Things were specifically designed to create fun experiences for the kids, way beyond the required and typical events. School pride was in every announcement and most definitely represented at every event. Taunting the other team was not only tolerated but expected, in the same way we expected it from the other team. After going to many Stanwood sporting events I can say with authority that NO school is more restricted than us in what the students are allowed to say or do. I actually still remember our fight song at KR and if there is a tourney that includes a Charger, I’m there. Green and Gold Forever!
There is the other extreme, school’s like Jackson, that hurl the most insane and hurtful things regarding family members, looks and beating people up but there has to be a comfortable medium. At some point enough is enough. I’ve watched our Principal and Vice-Principal, literally run away from confrontations, when someone dares to bring this up with them. I’ve witnessed our superintendent, look the other way when we are striving to raise money for keeping the kids off the streets on graduation night, the most dangerous night of their entire lives. The reason I bring this up is because its always said that they are doing this for the safety of the kids, that these parameters have been put in place in their interest and the interest of the town.
These kids have NO idea what kind of experiences they could be having. When my daughter went off to college, the very first football game was against their biggest rival Montana, and they were allowed to rush the field, she couldn’t believe it. In my day, football games became the place to be. It makes me so sad for the kids coming up because you know the restraints are only going to get worse. The parties and poor decision making are also going to get worse and maybe the administration could see some of the responsibility in that. I know this is a common place disapproval with parents and fans because believe me it’s talked about, quite extensively and many have said they’ve had enough.
The food fight last week was what other school’s have done all across the nation, every single year. It happened two years ago at SHS without any punishments whatsoever. Last year, a fish was put in the heating vents and caused thousands of dollars in damages, that kid was not punished, maybe wasn’t even pursued.
I read one teacher said that many of the kids didn’t know what was going on and with today’s shootings were scared. I’m sorry to disagree with that teacher but EVERY child knows what is going on in and outside that school at any given moment. EVERYONE knew that food fight was going to happen, including the school. The kids know things practically before they happen. My kids in college find out things that happen at the school, within hours.
The only part of this story that is REALLY messed up were the hard projectiles that were thrown, the apples, potatoes and such. They definitely should have had some form of punishment for that but I wouldn’t want it to be suspension. I would want them helping Steve get the school clean for summer, doing the nastiest jobs possible. However, from what I understand the mastermind behind the hard-boiled eggs wasn’t even caught or reprimanded. The kids punished were the ones that could been seen on video throwing something. I’ve seen the video system at SHS (when my daughter had her backpack stolen, by an adult that entered the “closed” campus, and the school did nothing about), it’s quite extensive. The people throwing those objects should have been punished, if they couldn’t be seen on the video system, well you don’t just start picking people at random. Five days, are you kidding me!?! Hit a kid with your fist and get three days detention, throw a muffin at them and you get five. Logical.
I know there’ll be people who disagree with me saying the school is disciplining and controlling to the masses but where did common sense go? Where did the backbone go? I really wish changes could be made to give the kids at Stanwood High School a chance to see what a great, high school, extra-curricular, career experience could be like. Not just blaming others because you don’t want to be bothered.
Just my two cents…