This year, we have elected to write a “Letter From The Editors’-In-Chief Desk” to address some of the issues throughout each edition of The Budget.
On the first day of class, The Budget staff requested we cover topics that “push the envelope” to gain readers’ interest. We as editors-in-chief have opted to write this column to acknowledge and discuss some of these edgier topics.
In this first edition, we covered a range of topics including an unimplemented disability law, the gender spectrum and teen pregnancies. Here at Lawrence High School, we have the freedom to examine issues like these because school newspapers in the state of Kansas cannot be censored.
With this freedom comes a sense of responsibility to keep readers informed about the diverse populations of our school and to encourage fellow students to respect every member of our student body.
This respect, however, can only begin once we are informed. As the opinion piece, “District failure in disability awareness week” illustrates, if we do not receive proper education on treatment of others, we must demand this information from our teachers.
We live in a generation of ill-informed students who lack the knowledge of the politically correct terminology we should use to address different groups of people. Too often, we treat history as tonight’s homework assignment rather than learning the real-life application of history, such as the Civil Rights Movement or the work of Harvey Milk.
In the news story “Ramp provides accessibility to students in wheelchairs,” the newly implemented ramp in the fine art hallway finally gave students with mobility impairments equality in that their elongated route was shortened to match that of their classmates without disabilities.
However, the lack of knowledge of the correct usage of vocabulary extends beyond that of disabled peers into the diverse range of genders. In such a liberal college town, we should have a better grasp of the concept of the gender spectrum. Even in discourse among The Budget staff members, there was an evident sense of confusion regarding the difference between gender and sexuality.
The topic of teen pregnancy is an issue that is glamorized by reality television shows, social media and even our own peers. The harsh judgments that previously applied to high school aged mothers seem to have been replaced by the technological glamorization of our generation.
Don’t assume you know everything about a person based on physical appearances or their extracurricular activities. We challenge you, Lawrence High School, to learn new politically correct terminology, introduce yourself to someone you previously judged and look for an opportunity to expose your blind side.
Kendra Schwartz and Ashley Hocking