Is change for the best?


Xander Gasparlin, Junior

For the 2022-2023 school year, Canadian High School took a different approach to many aspects of student life. Such things included homecoming decorations and festivities, a new early release plan, and a bigger emphasis on school safety required by the state of Texas. Some of these newly implemented changes were well-received, while others…not so much.
On the topic of homecoming, it was decided to not decorate hallways but rather decorate trifold boards made from plywood, following similar ideas at OSU. As for a reason why, Mrs. Jones said that “the hope is to have sort of a college feel” and to give members of the community “a chance to be able to see the things that we have done when they come to the pep rally”. She also stated that the decision was made to “eliminate some of the issues we had with decorations falling down and even some of the damages that occurred when taping stuff to the walls”. Though changing to trifolds could have been a good idea, it was very rushed and unorganized. Class officers were spoken to about board decorations on the Tuesday before homecoming week with a due date the following Monday. However, the boards themselves weren’t completed ready to be decorated until that Friday. Many, myself included, felt rushed to try and get things done, as the time frame we were given wasn’t the most practical. There were good points made as to why hallways weren’t done this year, such as people not wanting to participate and instead mess around, decorations getting destroyed as the week went on, and not allowing community members to see the classes’ creations. However, I feel instead of removing it completely, they could have found ways to work around it, like having set groups come on a weekend, and having more sturdy decorations.
Other changes included moving homecoming court presentations from the homecoming pep rally to the Lighting of the C. A staple in Canadian traditions, Lighting of the C is made to honor past attendees of Canadian and to welcome high schoolers into their next or last year of high school. With court presentations being made during this event, it almost takes away from the main purpose. Instead, doing it during the homecoming pep rally could have been more beneficial- with more attendance, a central focus on the court, and a more personal feeling being in an inclosed space. I have a feeling the pep rally will just be bare now, with not much to look forward to- making it just another pep rally where we listen to someone speak for 15 minutes and are done. More and more things are getting removed from pep rallies, to the point where there isn’t much left. Is this where Canadian is headed?
Aside from annual school traditions, an important focus for all schools in Texas is safety. As per the new changes, it is now required to have all doors closed and locked at all times unless actively being used. Additionally, more drills are being scheduled to keep the protocols fresh in students’ minds. Most of this is sparking up because of the recent school shooting at Uvalde, but is this really the right time to be focusing on this? Why now, of all times, should we focus on keeping kids safe? Why haven’t we been focusing on it already? Do we really need tragedy to strike before taking action? All of these are questions we should be asking, and should continue to ask in the following weeks, months, and years. Places in America are becoming more and more unsafe, but we seem to continue to do nothing until something happens. It shouldn’t be like this. Instead, we should be taking action to prevent these horrible events and act because of the future, not the past.
Finally, the last major change in CHS this year is an early release plan for the last Friday of every six weeks. Students will have about 23 minutes in each class and then get released at 12pm. I’m quite glad for this change. It allows teachers extra time to put in final grades, and allows kids to have a breather and relax after 6 long weeks of school. Plus, if some students need that extra time to finish up tests and such, they have that flexibility now. They should, however, make this an ongoing thing. Not just for the end of the 6 weeks but potentially every Friday. Most students are heavily involved in multiple extracurricular activities and are on the move from 6 am to 9pm. Students have jobs and lives, and are slowly transitioning into the real world. Therefore, adding this release plan to every Friday would make life just that much more bearable. Does this seem probable? Not likely.
So, there we have it! Some great, not so great, and mediocre changes that came to CHS this year. I feel as if we are becoming less uptight and letting things flow. Are there still some things that require change? Absolutely- nothing is perfect. I feel, though, that Canadian is rolling in the right direction towards a brighter, and more involved, future.