I have lived in Park City all of my life and I have yet to find a reason to feel anything other than proud of where I live. I am surrounded by beauty, blessed with exemplary teachers at a public school, and kept within a "bubble" that is without large-scale crime and gang violence. Until recent events, I have never once been ashamed of where I lived.
On Wednesday, December 5 at the Park City Ice Arena, the student section was in uproar over a fight that had transpired on the ice moments before. The crowd began screaming obscenities that were mixed with vulgarity and blatant sexual comments, all of this over a high school student who threw an elbow at a high school hockey game. I hid my face in shame as my peers continued their "ruckus," which could have lead to a penalty against the Miners.
The embarrassment continued when following the game a mother of the opposing team approached one of the students, warning him to stay away from her son. If that were not enough, when the player himself exited the locker room, he was greeted with a mocking maniacal chant of his number. Shoving and shouting ensued from both the parents of the child and the students themselves, which was quickly broken up. For the second time that night, I was embarrassed by the actions of a number of Park City High School students.
I may be one of few who still believes that a school's pride and reputation is procured by the student's ability to show maturity, inclusion, and respect in not only the school setting, but also in the eye of the public. As I listened to Timpanogos players and parents leaving the ice arena infuriated by our conduct and telling us to be shameful of our actions, my only thought was how we had tainted our longstanding reputation.
We are teenagers, not animals. This was not a professional hockey game, but a high school hockey game in Park City, Utah, which is no place to defile others and, as a student, I am disappointed in the actions of my peers. As a Park City High School senior, the real world is approaching fast and I could only imagine if such behavior transcended beyond the stands. Our adolescence is a time to create our identity, not to create inconsiderate subordinates who show little respect for others.
I would like to formally apologize to the Timpanogos hockey team, parents, and fans. We acted irrationally and with disrespect that unfortunately made Park City High School appear disdainful.
I would hate to see Park City further defined by continued critical stereotypes, but I have seen the source of these negative images. Being supportive and rowdy at sporting events is tolerated and expected, but the moment we as students lose our civility, we have crossed the line.
E.J. Elliott is a senior at Park City High School.