To those of you who have been loyal readers of our sometimes sassy column, we appreciate your readership.
When we first began writing this column, we didn’t know what to expect. However, as our fellow staff members contributed enticing but controversial content, we knew exactly what we’d discuss in our column each issue.
As we complete our third year here at Lawrence High, we feel lucky to have met so many excellent people, especially the staff members of “The Budget.” Although our staff is composed of a rather diverse group of individuals, we all share one goal in common: report the news, even when the facts are controversial at times.
And after multiple threats of lawsuits, angry tweets and personal statements of harassment, we still truly have no regrets about how we’ve run the newspaper this year. Although many individuals were unhappy with the content of newspaper (one administrator even deeming it a “tabloid”), we are proud to have won 38 individual awards.
After sacrificing a social life for the newspaper and staying after school nearly every day for the majority of our senior year, we’re so thrilled to see our hard work pay off. We editors-in-chief, alone, were the recipients of 18 of the individual awards.
But it would be impossible to have had such a successful newspaper without our amazing staff.
This year, our newspaper won the state journalism title for 6A schools by the Kansas Scholastic Press Association as well as the top Journalism Educators of Metropolitan Kansas City title above 36 other schools. As we finish the year as one of the top newspapers in the state, we are immensely proud of our staff and the work we’ve done this year.
While being the leaders of the newspaper was certainly one of the highlights of our high school experience, we were lucky to each be a part of many other interesting programs, sports and clubs Lawrence High has to offer.
Academically, we were able to take AP courses that would challenge us on a daily basis and prepare us for college. As Kendra goes off the Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas and Ashley heads up the hill to the University of Kansas, we feel fully prepared for the new hurdles we’ll face in the next chapter of our lives.
Although our senior year and our experience in general at Lawrence High has been especially rewarding, we’ve been disappointed with how Senior Week has played out this year. Instead of allowing us to make our own name as the senior class of 2014, we were penalized for the actions of the senior class before us.
Even though some of the pranks were initially approved by the administrators, these pranks were soon retracted for little to no reason. For example, after only an hour of scooters being allowed in the hallways on Wednesday May 7, scooters were banned.
The greatest danger with this senior activity was that teachers were ill-informed by administrators as to what would be happening that day. Some teachers embraces the students on wheels as harmless senior fun, while others seemed not to understand what was occurring. This illustrates a lack of communication between administrators and teachers, and not the dangers of seniors scootering.
While the so-called “pranks” this year were neither destructive or dangerous, these actions were viewed as such by administrators because of the actions of only a few individuals.
We urge next year’s seniors to enjoy their Senior Week thoroughly, but we also urge administrators to allow seniors some freedom and respect to make good choices on their own.
Being a good leader in our eyes means sticking to your decisions, but also admitting when you’re wrong. As we hand off the newspaper to the underclassmen in this final issue of “The Budget,” we respect the editor-in-chief for next year, Zia Kelly, enough to give her the freedom to run the newspaper in the way she desires. We have full confidence that the underclassmen will uphold the newspaper to our high standards and make us proud.
Kendra Schwartz and Ashley Hocking