May 20, 2008
Park City High School is a great school. People across the state know that.
Throughout my internship at The Park Record I didn’t feel the need to write fluffy articles about our fantastic school spirit or our incredibly intelligent student body. Why tell people what they already know?
I didn’t intern at The Park Record to be a Park City High School cheerleader. The school already has those. I didn’t want to be the boring high school columnist that got skipped over every week in the paper. I think it’s important to say what others are afraid to say. If nobody said anything about my article and I didn’t get any criticism, I assumed people didn’t read it because it was boring and mundane. I know I made some people uncomfortable and angry with my writing but, I think, I brought some important issues forward.
Many think I turned the "Student to Student" column into a negative bi-weekly rant about my personal problems with the school district. They say ‘negative,’ I say ‘honest.’ Throughout my articles I tried to keep the direction of the article supported by quotes from others. My aim was to offer an outlet for those who were having problems at school. For instance, I’m not a winter sports athlete, I’m not a student in Mrs. Wright’s Foods class, I’m not a student who takes a large amount of online courses, I’m not on the Academic Decathlon team, and I was not one of the students who got to dance under the florescent lights to no music at the Halloween dance. The majority of my so-called "negative," "malicious" articles were written for others. None of my articles were written with the intent to anger people. They were written to start conversation.
A particular "Letter to the Editor" written in response to one of my articles said "I realize the school isn’t perfect but don’t think the school intern needs to publicize all its problems."
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I’m a PCHS student, my friends are PCHS students, and I spend the majority of my time at PCHS. I felt it was my job to bring these problems to the surface. I didn’t say I had solutions to all of them but at least now I know they are being talked about.
Nobody likes to have his or her faults pointed out. So, naturally I don’t expect the School District to point out its own deficiencies. Why call attention to your own shortcomings? The human tendency is to keep problems hidden. However, for a problem to be fixed, it must first be identified. It’s difficult to fix something very few people know is wrong.
I realize I didn’t make any friends pointing out facts the school district most definitely wasn’t publicizing, but I know I helped initiate some change. Right now the school board is reviewing the athletes’ attendance policy, efforts are being made to standardize the school attendance policy, and we now have an Environmental Club that was influential in getting the lights turned off in the cafeteria.
I hope that other students will continue to speak up and identify problems at the high school. I want students to see that it isn’t necessary to be afraid of criticism. Often times it takes far too long to learn this.
Students shouldn’t be afraid to speak out in their own school. Although criticism can be rough, look what got accomplished this year. I learned to think about the consequences, then think about the gain, then go for it.
I deeply enjoyed writing for you all and I’m grateful for the opportunity and support The Park Record provided me throughout this year. I appreciate those of you who supported me in my journalistic endeavors and I also would like to thank those who disagreed with me and criticized my articles because "If everyone thinks the same, it means no one is thinking." Issues that everyone agrees on often make for boring stories. I hope I inspired conversation with my articles and made people think. That was my goal.