Editorial: Park City community looks to Class of 2018 to continue leading | ParkRecord.com

Editorial: Park City community looks to Class of 2018 to continue leading

Another school year has come and gone, and on Friday, Park City High School's seniors will gather on Dozier Field, clad in red and white gowns, to take their first step into adulthood.

And not a moment too soon — we need them.

At no time in recent history has it been more important for young people to be engaged in the broader world around them. Our country is plagued by deep divisions that seemingly widen with each passing news cycle. The polarization, combined with frustration stemming from a lack of action from lawmakers on a number of critical issues, have made it easy for well-meaning folks to become detached from politics.

Like those who came before them in the 1960s, this generation of youngsters is tasked with rising up and refusing to accept the circumstances they've inherited. Students in the Class of 2018 must continue to seek out truth and knowledge — whether at a prestigious university, by serving in the military or as they begin their careers — and use it to shape their surroundings for the better.

If their track record so far is any indication, the graduates Park City is sending into the world are more than up to the task. Encouraging students to leave home and etch their mark on society is a platitude often offered this time of year at commencement ceremonies, but Park City's graduating class has proven time and again they're capable of actually doing so. It was the obvious conclusion, for example, earlier this year when hundreds of them, refusing to believe they were too young to make a difference, participated in demonstrations aimed at demanding lawmakers act on gun reform.

The class's courage was on display several other times, as well, such as when students engaged in a show of unity after vandals spraypainted an anti-immigrant message on the nearby Aspen Villas apartments last March, or as they continued to foster an inclusive environment for LGBTQ students and lead a school-wide dialogue about mental health issues.

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Already, the graduates readying to turn their tassels Friday have made the community proud. The Class of 2018 is full of compassionate students unafraid to raise their voices and act. We appreciate the leadership they showed during their time at Park City High School. Wherever the future takes them, the community they'll leave behind expects nothing less than more of the same.