Editor: Aislinn Olvera
Having attended Powell High School since the second semester of my sophomore year, I experienced a culture shock from my old school back in New Mexico. The spirit of the school is different, as well as the atmosphere the students and teachers portray and allow to roam the halls. I know what I want to change in the school; I’ve known since I first moved here. However, one voice won’t change much, not in a school with over a thousand people here.
Which is why all of the writers a part of the PHS Newspaper were tasked to find a couple of random students, all in different grades, and ask them a few questions regarding their experience with Powell in the past and things they believe is positive here and things they believe could change. In this article, a few of the answers from our interviewees attracted more offers of change, as well as honest opinions - ones that can tell a lot of this school as a whole.
Our first couple of questions, of course, began with what their name was and what grade they were in. We then followed up with ‘What is one positive thing you’ve noticed about Powell this year?’. Freshman, Alanna Brown, answered with “There’s a lot of good energy here and people seem to get along.” Junior, Lorena Perez, seem to have the same thoughts whenever she answered, “They always want us involved. They make it seem exciting. They have a lot of events coming up.” All of the students interviewed seemed to have the same thoughts of Powell this year, which is that it’s a positive environment and everyone involved in school life is working to make it easier.
The next question asked was what their experience with Powell has been like in the past. Junior, Alyssa Cooper, told the interviewer that her freshman year “wasn’t, like, great, because of the different types of people who went here but as I got older, it got better.” Senior, Zack Browning, simply stated “Hell”. Another Senior, Bryson McMurry, answered this question contrasting Zack and said that his past three years at Powell High have been great and that “the students and the environment are both very welcoming.”
Moving on from the past, we decided to focus in on the now, and this school year, by asking the students what their expectations of PHS this year are. Sophomore Ethan Elliot answered with “My classes seem a little difficult, but it shouldn’t be bad because I have great teachers.” Long story short, he is expecting it to be a great year. Sophomore, Kylie Harris, told the interviewer “That the bullying kind of goes down. I just really hope it does… I was actually bullied my whole freshman year, so I kind of just hope bullying is taken care of.” Another contrasting statement from the previous response. Many other students answered with the idea that they were hoping for a great year filled with positivity and school spirit. Of course, senior Zack Browning simply wanted it to be an easy year and to get out of here. Relatable.
Our final question we asked the students was what they were hoping to see change at the school this year. Sophomore Ethan Elliot was pretty content with the way the school was and didn’t see anything that needed to be changed. Both seniors Bryson McMurry and Zack Browning wanted to see the food change, which is actually insanely relatable. Lorena Perez, junior, said she wants to see people “getting more involved in clubs, and all around more positive.” Alyssa Cooper, also a junior, answered with “Maybe how some of the teachers act, maybe calm down a bit, don’t be so strict.”
This school itself has been able to maintain a positive environment around not only within the facility, but within the community as a whole. Most people here have been able to have a rather positive experience as a Powell Panther. There are basic things that won’t be easy to fix, such as the food choices at school. However, with things such as bullying and teacher involvement, those shouldn’t be as hard to fix. There’s a simple solution to this problem: be kind to one another be more understanding of people’s issues. Because bullying is a massive epidemic in public schools, no one seems to have an answer as to how to stop it or keep it from going further than it has gone.
The problem starts with the students and carries on to the teachers and the faculty. The faculty doesn’t seem to do much to end bullying or punish the bully in any way, which gives the bully the idea that they can continue to do what they do with no punishment and no backlash. Words hurt, as do actions. But sometimes actions can speak volumes to the minority.
Therefore, I have a request for each and every student and faculty member in this beloved school:
Be kind. Don’t let bullying take place in these hallways and classrooms. When you see someone being made fun of, teased, in any way, step in and say that what they’re doing isn’t cool and needs to stop. If that doesn’t work, as cheesy as it is, kill them with kindness.
An expectation this year, and all the coming years, is to have more students feel like it’s okay to be involved in things that aren’t in the status quo and let them know it’s okay to have school spirit, appear chaotic, have fun in school itself, and be kind to one another.