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The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

The Student News Site of Gretna East High School

The Wingspan

Homecoming court replacement, Griffin Student Leaders, needs to be more inclusive

Editorial+Cartoon
Onnika Moore
Editorial Cartoon

-EDITORIAL-

It has been announced that Gretna East High School will not have a homecoming court since there is no senior class. Traditionally, students at most schools vote seniors for positions like homecoming king and queen. Instead, the school’s administration decided to select nine students, three from each grade, to be honored as Griffin Spirit Leaders, but this homecoming court replacement does not provide students with equal opportunities.  

The application to be a Griffin Student Leader includes: school involvement, leadership and character as categories where applicants can receive points. The three students who earn the most points based on these categories for each grade level, freshman through juniors, will be put on a ballot to be voted on by students next week.

The point system that was created for the award, gives athletes and popular kids an advantage over other students. Not every student feels inclined to join a sport or club, and not every student has the time to do so. Students are being robbed of showcasing their involvement in the community because the application to become a Griffin Spirit Leader only allows them to only list school activities. 

It excludes students who are not in an extracurricular school activity but are heavily involved outside of school in the community. Students who have jobs, volunteer, act in a local theater, participate in club sports that aren’t offered at the school or other activities that aren’t school-sanctioned are unfairly, and presumably unintentionally, penalized by not being included in the point system that has been set forth for this award. While these activities do not directly benefit the school sports teams or clubs, they are very beneficial to students’ character and spirit, as well as the community. 

The current application, which can be picked up in the main office, is also not fair to students who were not granted a position in the activities that they wanted. For example, students who auditioned for show choir, one act or musical and did not make the cut, get put at a disadvantage, but not from their lack of trying.  Similarly, students who signed up to be on student council, or any other election based club or organization, but weren’t voted in, also face the same disservice. That is not to say that schools should not have selective groups, but with the addition of Griffin Spirit Leaders it does feel like an unfair advantage for those who make it.

Aside from being a member of a school extracurricular activity or sport, many teachers have not fully formed their opinions of all of their students yet since it’s so early in the year. The only students teachers have truly heard from so far are students who feel comfortable talking out loud or who are popular with teachers. It is easy for sophomores and juniors who can easily go to a former teacher and have them sign the two required teacher signature spots, but what about the freshmen who still barely know their current teachers?

With its current criteria, the Griffin Spirit Award doesn’t create an even playing field for all students.  However, the traditional homecoming royalty at most schools has the same problem, it becomes a popularity contest instead of an activity that allows students to come together as a school.

That being said, the Griffin Spirit Leaders award could turn into a more equal-opportunity award with a few changes. Students should be able to include what they do outside of school to gain points on the initial application. For example, students could be awarded points based on if they have a job in the community, do volunteer work or play a club sport. Of course, the activities would have to be verified, but they all have a positive impact on our community and they should be recognized, too. 

The idea that administration had of ditching a popularity contest like homecoming royalty in favor of an award that recognizes students is one to be commended. The application process just needs to be updated to be more inclusive. It’s a brand new idea, and just like people, ideas and processes can always be adapted and made better. 

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About the Contributors
Leena Macklin, Reporter
As a first-year on staff, sophomore Leena Macklin is excited. While working her way up to the top, she earns her role on the Wingspan’s staff as a reporter. Journalism is new to her, and by preparing for this year she attended Journalism Camp at the University Of Lincoln. Outside of our newsroom, she does lots of acting and cross country in her free time. Macklin has many people she looks up to, but her journalistic inspiration is Wingspan Editor-in-Chief, Madeline Petrick, who got her to commit to Journalism.
Onnika Moore, Editor
Onnika Moore is a junior at Gretna East High School. She was on the Gretna Media staff at Gretna High School for the past two year, and this year at Gretna East, she has earned an editor position. Her goals for journalism this year are to win State awards and build the program from the ground up. Journalism is the only school activity she is involved in, but with her free time, she enjoys drawing, reading and writing. She also loves to spend time with her two cats, Sprinkles and Cylis. 
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    GinaSep 21, 2023 at 5:51 pm The Wingspan Pick

    Well written! I would like to include that it would be beneficial to not NEED to apply, what about students with special needs? What about students that lack the confidence to walk into the office to get the application? Spirit Leadership Award or Royalty should be given to students that are kind to all, not students that are involved in all. Overall I am in agreement with your story!

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