Opinion: Invest in the Black River Student Experience


Hailey Mayer, Editor

The 1985 film The Breakfast Club incorporates the ideal jocks, the nerds, the cool kids, the rebellious ones, and the recluse. It is the perfect example of the stereotypical life of a highschooler. But Black River tends to be the exact opposite. 

Black River is argued to be the antithesis of a stereotypical high school. It’s great not to be stereotypical, but there are still things we could be learning from other schools that could enhance our school spirit. But from my perspective, I feel that Black River should invest more in the overall well-being of the campus and school spirit. Furthermore, students are occasionally deprived of the full high school experience. 

The students at Black River that participate in the art, choir, and drama programs are underprivileged with the amount of provided supplies. In my 5 years at Black River, I have participated in all of those extracurriculars.

The drama classes were taught in a small and crowded room, with no tables and huge portions of the room taken up with storage supplies. When plays were performed, the stages used were good, but sometimes the cheap material could affect the play; the performers would walk around the handmade stage and the sound of their footsteps were louder than their own voice. 

The choir classes were taught in the same exact room as the drama class, and our performances were always small and low-budgeted. We would perform the shows just outside of the classroom.

The art classes at Black River have the essential supplies, but the majority of the necessities are relatively old. Because of that, they possess the tendency to be difficult to use. For years, the art teacher, Mrs. Gorris, has only had very old and beat up laptops that my fellow students and I could never successfully use. Only now was she given hand me down chromebooks from other classes that got new ones. 

Black River also has two indoor and one outdoor athletic spaces, which seems to be a waste of space and money. When Alexander VanHouten, my brother and fellow Black River student, said “I do not see a point in three courts when we could spend our wealth towards other departments that are struggling with finances, such as band and orchestra.” I agree with him, in that I think that the auxiliary gym was not needed and we could have spent our money on something that would appeal to more of our students, like a football team, art supplies, food for homecoming, repainting classrooms, soundproofing walls between classrooms, snacks at music events, consistent heating and cooling systems, or an auditorium.

Black River should also invest in other activities for students’ enjoyment. If this school invested in a football team, for example, it is possible that dozens of new students would flood in. Adults could put less money into building new things, talk to students about what we want, and use donations to support some of the things that would enhance the Black River student experience.