Eastside video shows a lack of pride


Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:35 p.m.

As I look back on my school-age years, there were many times I considered them to be memorable and special moments in my life.

Attending school was one of those times when I relished the opportunity to go to school, particularly my high school years. Lincoln High School was my high school and it was the hub for all of the activities in my life outside of my family and church.

Lincoln High was truly a community school. It was the place where I established great relationships with my peers and adult mentors. These people became my extended family away from home.

My high school experience was where I developed my own sense of appreciation for a good education, which was premium. I was surrounded by friends who were "eager beavers" to learn and excel because they, too, shared the vision to improve their lives.

Recognizing their passion for learning encouraged me to work hard and develop a thirst for learning. We all desired opportunities to attend college and compete on the world's stage for a better life.

There was so much to offer and enjoy there. I enjoyed the camaraderie of my friends, sports events, working on experiments in the science lab, club affiliations and engaging in conversation with my teachers.

The atmosphere was amazingly enticing. Being a member of the band program was my passion. It consumed a lot of my time, so there was little time for me to get into trouble or to be indifferent about my purpose for being at a place that I wanted to be.

Our teachers were always on a mission to provide the very best opportunities for me and my classmates to learn new and old concepts. These challenging curriculums were exciting and adventurous.

Consequently, we took pride in our school. It was an honor for me to attend Lincoln. I could never denigrate the education I received there nor could I impugn the reputation of the Big Red Terriers of Lincoln High School.

Lincoln was our home away from home. We trusted our teachers, administrators and support staff to guide us through the perils of life. For the seven hours we spent there, ALL of the adults were our parents and caretakers.

Every teacher/adult who came into my path taught me something and I adored them because they were the role models that I tried to emulate.

Someone once said, "Motivation gets you started and discipline makes you grow." Lincoln got me started and my teachers, along with my parents, taught me discipline.

To all of my teachers and role models, I must say thank you for your patience, the sharing of your time, your skill base to impart knowledge to a knuckle head like me and your commitment to make my life better.

The message to the students in Alachua County Public Schools today is very clear in this article. Take pride in your school, become an active member of your school in a positive way and take advantage of the opportunities given to you to learn and excel.

As I make reference to the embarrassing video at Eastside High School, I was appalled at the content of the misrepresentation. The foul language to describe Eastside was repulsive and distasteful.

The sexually vile behavior on the video was disturbing and disappointing because sexual demonstrations and gang fighting (violence) have no place in our schools.

Eastside is a great school and a wonderful place to get an education. The school did not deserve the debasing that was illustrated in the video. Shame on those who thought it was entertaining and appropriate.

To my readers, this video does not reflect the opinions and behavior of students who are excelling at Eastside. The majority of the students there are promoting positive images of what occurs at the school on a daily basis.

Those students who engaged in the video need to somehow re-evaluate their value system and question themselves as to why they are there? Such reckless behavior is definitely counterproductive.

After watching the video, one would assume those students do not possess pride in themselves or their school.

One day, these very same students will be parents, and my concern is how they will respond to their own child's behavior if he/she participates in this type of inappropriate behavior.

I find it so troubling that our students deliberately made an attempt to defame an institution that is making efforts to improve their quality of life. We can do better than this.

Have pride in your school and have pride in yourself.

Philoron Wright is assistant to the superintendent of community and schools for Alachua County Public Schools.

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