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The West Press

The West Press

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2022-2023 in Review: What Can WE Do Better?

We have made it to the end of the year! It’s time to take a look back on the good (and bad) things that happened throughout the last 9 months.
2022-2023 in Review: What Can WE Do Better?

Congratulations, we’ve made it through the 2022-2023 school year! With exams complete and summer now in our grasp, it’s always a good time to look at all the fantastic things you’ve done this year. Seniors have most likely chosen what they want to do outside of High School, freshmen are finally out of the prison that is West Fresh, and of course, local pools and summer sports are the new places to hang out with friends and have a good time. While summer is important, what did we do this year that went well and didn’t go quite as planned? What can WE do better next year, to help us and future Lakota Graduates?

To start things off strong, West Main’s rule mandates have to loosen up a bit. One of the biggest things that happened this year, was that teachers and staff in general became incredibly strict with attendance, being in the halls, skipping classes, eating lunch at the right place, and signing in and out of classes whenever using the restroom. Is all of this necessary? I don’t think so. Though there have often been issues with students abusing their freedoms in school and taking advantage of the system, punishing the entire school is not the way to go. Preaching to the choir doesn’t work, as after a while, the “good” students will become tired of hearing rule after rule, and could eventually feel pushed to break them as a way of protest. 

Students should be allowed to eat lunch outside or leave the building to grab something to eat. If teachers can order food and have it delivered, or even leave the building to grab lunch, then some kids should have the ability to go out and grab something from a fast food place, or even home. In today’s world, security is a huge priority for the building, but some of it is quite ridiculous. Why should students have to take off their hoodies? People always mention that there could be a concealed weapon beneath it, but believe it or not, 9 times out of 10, you will see the shape of it squeezed beneath the fabric. It’s silly to allow caps, but not hoodies. Why go through such a hassle if it’s not needed?

 

Another thing that Lakota has to do better is the handling of school events and athletics. Right now, West is a football school. Because of this, football students often get away with more, (such as having failing grades or potentially doing illegal activities) and cheating the system. Other clubs and sports, however, have the correct punishments when doing something wrong, and oftentimes don’t get enough recognition for what they do or win (while football gets SO much attention in their successes). 

My personal grudge against the Lakota Athletics Program is where their money goes to. There are SO many groups that are just as talented as football and need to have better funding. Whether it be the Marching Band which has grown to be one of the best in the state or the Wrestling Team which made it to state this year and performed exceptionally well, money needs to go elsewhere, besides JUST the football team. We value them for what they do, but let’s not just value one sport; we need to think about others.

Also, can we please get rid of the 9 study halls students have a week? It’s great that they are offered, but if you have a Nexus 7th bell, for example, then every block day you would have 7th bell study hall, 5th bell study hall for the day you aren’t learning anything, 4th bell advisory, AND XH during block days. And of course, the normal schedule advisories and 7th bell nexus for Monday, Tuesday, and Friday.

 

With all of this complaining, there are a few things that Lakota does quite well. The care for students and academic expectations seems mostly fair, and implementing XH to let students see teachers was a clever way to let students get in-school tutoring without staying before or after school. Lakota also handles Chromebooks and the hub well, allowing people to use green screens, and more powerful and higher-quality cameras, while also efficiently giving students new equipment and loaners throughout the day. The counselors at West are all very easy to talk to, and even if it takes time for things to be processed, they all work diligently with students and never try to push kids away from their goals in life.

So, where can Lakota go for next year? What kind of things should Lakota do better to help future graduating classes, and make West and East a better place to be? For one, the school has to have fair discipline. Please value clubs and sports equally. Also, don’t punish the innocent. Find the rule breakers and deal with them, don’t make the good kids have to listen to class lectures and deal with the misfortunes of others. No one likes that, so why continue with it?

 

The biggest takeaway of all this is to have Lakota consider students’ opinions and life choices more. The rules go to such an extent that they start to feel like they’re a bit much. I understand not everyone is the most perfect student in West, but we have to find a way to stop hurting the good people. Hall passes are useless and most kids don’t do it, hoodies being taken off are ineffective, and time efficiency is a huge issue. WE can do better, now it’s up to the schools to take these things into consideration and act upon them.

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About the Writer
Thomas Price, Website Manager
Thomas Price is a second-year student in Journalism who has been heavily involved in The West Press over the last school year. He participates in many of Lakota’s extra-curricular and in-school programs, such as being a member of the Hope Squad, Junior Board, Lakota West Drumline, performer in the Marching Band, and a Percussionist in Symphonic Winds. As a creatively driven student, Thomas is also skilled in many technical areas, whether through the use of photography, video design, or media creation. Through The West Press, he focuses on writing local news and opinion articles, giving daily insight into the good and bad West has to offer to its students and staff.

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