The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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The Hawkeye May 2024
1st Amend Award School

Maybe, just maybe, bringing people together isn’t always a good idea

Our ASB has been working tirelessly to make our school a better environment. They want everyone to be included, they want everyone to be celebrated and they want everyone to be friends. They have spent hours on large posters, made with a substantial amount of paint and paper. They want to get everyone engaged with everyone, they want everyone to socialize, they want everyone to hang out together, and they want everyone to have a great day. Well, here’s a message to the ASB: Stop. Just stop it. You’re doing more harm than good.

We the students work very hard to develop social circles. This eliminates the need to be around people we’ve profiled as the ones whose company we would not enjoy. When someone new and interesting enters the circle, it happens naturally, without disturbing the delicate balance of the group. Let’s call this “Social Osmosis,” the selective friendship of the high school environment. What the ASB thinks of as social rejection, intolerance, or exclusion, is actually the group’s permeable membrane, that lets only constructive people into the group to maintain healthy relationships between everyone in the group. What the ASB is trying to do is eliminate the impersonality of common high school acquaintances to the point of serious uncomfortable and awkward experiences for those who want to stay in their circle where it’s safe. Some people do not like the majority of the people they observe in high school, and by forced socialization (Mix-It-Up), they are the ones who become alienated.

This isn’t all the ASB has done. While the enthusiasm of the people who stand by the door and give out high-fives is appreciated by some, many other people do not want high-fives. Many people do not want to be told to have a great day by students. And for some reason, Culture Week has been the time when many people stand by the door and applaud anyone who walks in, giving out candy and playing awful pop music. There are two issues with this; first, when surrounded by strange people applauding for no reason, some people become very uncomfortable, and it can ruin their mood.

A lot of times, people don’t want the kind of attention the ASB seems to want to give everyone, and those people are being forced to smile uncomfortably before starting their school day. The other problem is that some kids love it. Studies have shown that American kids rank number one in confidence, while falling behind in most everything else. This is evident when you look at the laughing students in low-hanging pants and backwards hats (many of them awkward and white), hanging out in groups and talking about their favorite parts of “Call of Duty”, last night’s episode of “Family Guy”, and of course, all the homework and studying they must be getting done in the meantime. Good. Let them stay in their groups, away from the people who think differently about life, but do they really need the extra confidence? Should we be encouraging the behavior that makes people hate America?

And then, when people use the other door, some of the ASB members are rude to them. Some people only want to be on their way. If they don’t want a high-five, they certainly don’t want to be spoken to in a condescending tone of voice. Who wants to hear, “Thanks a lot,” for refusing a service they didn’t ask for? This couldn’t possibly be an inconvenience on the people running the door. Have I offended you by saying I don’t care for terrifyingly positive and undeserved attention from complete strangers?

Also, the idea of a Multicultural Week is fine, but the execution was very misguided. The presentations and performances at lunch period were great, but it didn’t feel like there was much point. It was unclear what the ASB was really trying to accomplish. We didn’t really have a presentation one of the days (although, there were some kids playing Hacky Sack, so maybe we were celebrating white people), and there are simply more than four different races at this school. According to the new rules of public school, either everyone gets celebrated, or no one gets celebrated, and perhaps some races at this school felt underrepresented because of the week. However, I will give the ASB credit, because the poster of the arm with patches of skin from different races was truly terrifying.

The ASB is alienating people by trying to bring everyone together. They are tearing this school apart and ruining people’s days with their assumption that everyone loves to be celebrated and in the spotlight in front of lots of people they have no interest in associating themselves with. Please, please, for the love of god, stop the insanity now before it gets any worse.

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  • J

    JulieApr 7, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Though I have no idea where this high school is, and just stumbled upon this article by accident, I found it to be very well written, and thoroughly enjoyed reading it and chuckling along.