Several hundred pillars coming to Character Counts!

Bradley Wilson, Editor-in-Chief

The story below is intended as humor only and is not intended to be accurate.  All RB community participants in the story provided written permission for their names to appear.

This year has been an important year for change in the building. Along with our new principal, Pamela Bylsma, has come the shifting of the “community of caring” into the national Character Counts! program.

The overarching feature of Character Counts is the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. These pillars are supposed to be the foundation of everything that goes on in the school, and were created to foster the strongest learning environment possible, all while turning students into respectable members of society. Posters and flyers have been floating around the building and in teachers’ rooms all year in an attempt to start to spread these ideals in the building.

As awareness for the program has spread, so has the apparent need for changes to the program. A major update to the RB chapter has been proposed for the 2011-2012 school year, which will include the expanding the number of pillars by 100 times, rounding off the complete total at 600.

“Our current pillars failed to encompass the changing character of our student body,” said Bylsma, “With the addition of the new pillars, we’ll be able to reach the new generation of students that didn’t connect with the classic pillars.”

Some of the highlights of the proposed pillars include “procrastination”, “selfishness”, “insincerity”, and “chivalry is dead”. The administration feels this change will help current high school students will feel a stronger connection with the pillars.

“While a student may not understand what responsibility is, he or she probably has firsthand experience with procrastination,” said Bylsma.

Freshman Drew Boxell talked about his new favorite pillar, pride, saying, “I’ve pretty much known my whole life that I’m the greatest thing to walk this earth since the dinosaurs. I feel as if the school is finally recognizing my sheer awesomeness with these new pillars. Now I can walk around the halls knowing for sure that I really am the world’s greatest,” Boxell then ended the interview abruptly and walked away while singing R. Kelly at the top of his lungs.

Senior Chris Buh appreciates the change, although wishes that his proposed new favorite new pillar laziness was in effect this year. “Let’s face it, I’m a second semester senior, am I really going to do any work? Finally the school is appreciating the innate laziness of their seniors. I only wish I could have been rewarded for my incredible lack of work,” he said.

In addition to the new pillars, new “pillar clauses” are being added to the old ones in order to capture the essence of 21st century teenagers. Some of the pillar clauses include: trustworthiness (as long as I like the person), fairness (unless the person was mean to me first), and responsibility (until I figure out how to not do my work and still get the same grades).

General reception from the students has been incredibly positive on the new pillars. Many have been feeling a stronger emotional connection to the updated system.

“Finally our school has begun to catch up with the change in society. The new pillars really speak to my soul in a deep way. I wouldn’t hesitate to call this the best decision administration has ever made,” said Boxell.

These changes are set to go into effect at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.

“The Josephson Institute has been backing this change for a while now, so we’re really excited to see our students embrace the new system,” said Bylsma.