Editorial: How To Have the Heart of a Pioneer

Two years ago, in an unremarkable and typical football season, Memorial Field’s stands were packed to the brim with students. Nobody knew that the world would be turned upside down just a few months later.
Reflecting after nearly two years of hybrid learning, empty bleachers, canceled games, and terrifying uncertainty, it is clear to us that the driving forces once responsible for strengthening the community were temporarily futile, unable to endure in the fight against COVID-19. All elements necessary to securing the high school’s role as a beacon of energy, pride, and tradition were all suspended as health measures isolated students.
But this year, Memorial Field’s stands were packed again.
With over 95% of students fully vaccinated, spirit and enthusiasm reminiscent of years past quickly returned to athletic events. Because the community managed the pandemic well, the restoration of extracurricular events has been a cause for celebration by both participants and observers – but as traditions make their return, so do poor decisions.
Acknowledging the almost two years we have spent like cavemen, misbehavior and disciplinary violations are concerning, but not surprising. Because of the virus-produced generational gap between classes, one-half of the school hasn’t experienced a student-led athletic experience – and the other half hasn’t attended one since there was a class of students above them.
Circumstances returning back to normal, however, does not justify the idea that we can let loose entirely. Since the return of athletic events, there have been several concerns over student intoxication, disrespect, and general misbehavior.
The consistent behavior of a sizable portion of students present eventually resulted in the release of an official letter and warning to students who violate the code of conduct. Predictably, the letter references the consumption of illegal substances.
Let’s talk turkey: it is undeniable that any inappropriate student behavior – especially during a sporting event – diminishes East’s image as a paragon of sportsmanship and community.
Since the beginning of time – or, at least, since “high school” came to be – it has been widely known that teenagers are prone to make mistakes. No stranger to these mistakes, which occur more frequently than you think, is alcohol. Just watch Adam Herz’s “American Pie.” Celebrating in ways that verify a dangerous party culture, however, only serves to disadvantage the students present.
To preserve the integrity of our district and community, it is imperative that we represent the values most important to both us and the wider community. It is our responsibility as students to attend extracurricular events to show support to both the community and our athletes.
In the past few weeks, the school has made great strides toward the full revival of the spirit of the student section. It is the hope of this paper that the student section remains energetic but safe, vigilant of how we represent our community.