Editorial: brash senior reactions to alternative events are damaging to our community

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Photo courtesy of Michaela Forouzan and Matthew Allana.

Ava Seccuro co-editor-in-chief

Catherine Gagulashvili co-editor-in-chief

 

Just before the implementation of online learning, we, as the editorial board, urged you, the senior class, to get more engaged. We asked for the class of 2020 to take on the responsibilities of being a spirited senior class, to set an example for underclassmen, to carry on the traditions of prior senior classes and, most importantly, to end our high school career with a bang. Obviously, we could not have foreseen the halt to our senior year that was brought as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but it shouldn’t be much to ask to be adaptable, recognize that we’re all going through the same plight and try to make the best of a bad situation.

Yes, we all had things we were looking forward to at the end of the year: prom, senior night, senior sunset and graduation, to name a few. Some of us held traditions, specific to the clubs and classes we joined, near to our hearts. The graduating seniors on our editorial board were looking forward to upholding the long-time tradition of signing our names on our classroom walls. We are sure every single senior at Beverly was, too, looking forward to something that they felt signified the close of their high school career. And, to be honest, the fact that we don’t get to have those last few months of high school absolutely sucks. It does, and there’s little we can do to fix it, because, at the end of the day, online celebrations don’t come close to the level of celebration we as a class deserve. 

With that being said, none of this disappointment is a result of the administration’s nor ASB’s actions. Many students have spoken out against the unfairness of us not getting to have graduation the “normal” way, and while it’s valid to be upset, it’s counterintuitive to attack those simply trying to make this incredibly abnormal time a little more familiar.

Before the ability to comment was taken off the April 29 @bhhs2020 Instagram post that first announced the Diploma Drive, numerous members of the student body harassed ASB via the @bhhs2020 account in the comment section, dissing the Board of Education and criticizing the administration. This is with confirmation from two unnamed ASB members. What we did not mean, when we urged you to participate in the activities our school provided for us, was to complain aimlessly on district and ASB affiliated social media accounts. We’re all for speaking out and speaking up for what the student body wants, and we understand that in a survey conducted by the district regarding alternatives for graduation, a Diploma Drive was not one of them; however, the militant and aggressive response that the suggestion of a Diploma Drive provoked was completely deplorable.

We would share such comments with you as a refresher of some of your actions, but for legal purposes, the Beverly Hills Police Department requested that the comments stay turned off; that is how poorly some of your peers reacted to the situation.

We asked for alternatives and we got one; this is the best the district can do at the present moment without violating guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Health. With multiple sources going on record for articles regarding the cancelation of events, some of the statements that were made were so brash that we as the editorial board felt that we couldn’t even publish them because of the sheer lack of understanding for the decisions that the administration is making on our behalf.

We know it’s not an in-person graduation, we know that we wanted to postpone it until later in the summer, but the administration needed and just genuinely wanted to do something for us that could keep us safe and healthy, and this is what we got. Collectively bashing authority does not equal the unity that we so desire as a school: coming together to recognize the situation, participating and making the best out of it, does. 

When we think of school spirit, we think of something begot from compassion for each other and from people in our community. Purposefully threatening our classmates who are trying to get us excited about the few events we can still have is not school spirit. Creating Instagram pages to organize events that fail to abide by social distancing rules is not school spirit. Putting the health and safety of members of our community, all the while bashing those efforts to celebrate within guidelines is not school spirit, and it shouldn’t be tolerated. 

With that being said, just please, do better for the remaining week we all have together. Attend the Diploma Drive, get excited, thank ASB and administration for trying to pull together something even if it wasn’t the immediate thing we wanted. Set an example for the grades below us and do better.

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