School spirit: mandatory or elective?

Not everybody thinks their school is something to scream about.

There are obvious advantages to school-scheduled pep rallies. Besides boosting morale, they give the administration an opportunity to showcase athletic achievements. At the end of a Friday, most students lack the energy to focus on school, so the schedule changes have little impact. The rallies can get students excited for homecoming or other important events.

However, class time is still important, and a few hours here and there do add up. There are more effective ways to spend school time. The pep rallies could be a distraction that prevents students from studying, and the shortened schedule during the day often gives them an excuse to goof off in class.

There are students who enjoy the assemblies – it gives them a chance to release pent-up energy, and most of them enjoy the break from school. There are also students who dislike them. The gym gets crowded, hot, and loud, which can be overwhelming.

Even if the students who don’t enjoy pep rallies are a minority, they might make others uncomfortable with their lack of participation. Nothing kills enthusiasm like your classmates rolling their eyes. Making students attend superfluous assemblies is not ideal. But taking away the rallies altogether would cause problems as well.

Instead, students should be allowed to have a study hall in place of attending pep rallies. If all students were confined to one area, they wouldn’t be that hard to manage, and it would help minimize issues with students skipping or leaving school early.

Morale is important, but measures that force students to participate do more damage than good. The atmosphere of the rallies would not suffer, because the students who wouldn’t go would not have participated in the first place. Additionally, if there is concern for diminished participation, the administration could incentivize attendance, which would give unenthusiastic teenagers a reason to want to be there instead of a reason not to skip.

It’s important that students take pride in their school, but there’s a difference in being proud and showing up.

Emily Gallion


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