Narrow scope of students fails to recognize the essence of education

Bradley Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

As I logged onto Facebook last night, I couldn’t ignore the vast sea of comments about the referendum failing to pass, quickly spreading like wildfire between students.

It saddened me to see such harsh, hyperbolic, depressing statements filling up the virtual lives of much of my friends list. As I scrolled between comment and comment, status and status, I realized just how narrow the scope of many high school students is these days.

Cuts will have to be made, and teachers will lose their jobs. Those are facts of the failed referendum.

However, there are many kids all over the world who receive not even a fraction of the education we receive here in America, and the failed 2011 education referendum is not going to sink our school into those depths. Just because the referendum failed to pass this time around certainly does not mean RB isn’t going to strive to give its’ students the highest education possible.

Will you be able to be in that one club or class you wanted? Maybe not. But you will graduate with a diploma from a strong high school and have a full life and future ahead of you. That isn’t something to be taken for granted.

Everyone needs to understand that the vote wasn’t even marginally close, with somewhere around one yes vote to every three no votes, and I find it sad that many of my fellow students instantly turn to attacking those who voted no. I understand that, as students, they have a much more personal connection with the high school, but ultimately, they make up only a fraction of the voters, and they need to respect the decision of the community. I believe respect is one of the abiding pillars of character of Riverside Brookfield High School.

A school is supported by the community it resides in, and our communities obviously had a point to make yesterday at the polls. It wasn’t just a few people who didn’t support the referendum, but rather the vast majority. Regardless of the reason, whether it is finances, personal opinion, or a desire for an alternate solution, I don’t think it’s fair to say that the surrounding communities have forgone supporting education for personal gain or selfishness, something I’ve seen mentioned multiple times. I think it is an errant generalization to say that just because someone voted no means that they would rather spend their money on food, clothes, coffee, cigarettes, etc. than education.

With a new administration, the school now has an excellent opportunity to reconsider the situation, find out where the community had major disagreements, and create a more realistic proposal that is both fair and straightforward for next year. Trying to pass the same proposal with more drastic cuts next year could lead to an even sadder 2012.

Our communities are fortunate to have a wealth of intelligent minds, and it would be nice to see both the school, community, and students leave the politics of this year behind, and utilize the results of the past, to work towards the future with a smarter, more collaborative proposal.

My favorite quote by Mark Twain says, “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Education is much more than the clubs and activities at a school, much more than the AP classes offered, much more than any textbook or technology, and for sure much more than something to be lost at the result of a failed referendum. While next year students may not be able to participate in eco club or play water polo, they will experience education, and that is what really matters.