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Changing school name, colors not a reasonable solution

Posted: November 27, 2013 - 10:21pm  |  Updated: November 29, 2013 - 10:01am

My name is Briana VinZant, I graduated from Soldotna high in 2011, so my opinion about the SoHi name/color/mascot change decision may seem biased. However, I have two brothers and one sister who attended Skyview high school. There are several reasons why I do not agree with the proposal to change anything about SoHi.

First, it’s simply not economical. I don’t care, and neither should anyone else, how “little” it will cost. If the school district wants to spend money on SoHi, it should be to improve education. School is about learning. When we’re facing budget cuts regularly, over-crowded classrooms, out-dated books, and a plethora of other problems, how can anyone justify spending money on changing colors?

Second, extra-curricular activities are essential to many students’ education, graduation and future, so as a community we should be trying to make them more affordable not less. Requiring every team to change uniforms is a cost that many of the sports teams can not bear. Uniforms often run between $3,000-$5,000, and that’s for one color. New and struggling sports teams can barely shoulder the cost of required bus transportation, now we want to add the cost of new uniforms. We want to create opportunity, not stifle it.

Third, people keep acting like the students of Skyview are victims — they aren’t. It is sad that our community no longer can sustain two high schools, but it isn’t a tragedy. And even if Skyview students are victims, then wouldn’t SoHi’s students be victims too? Everyone is so concerned about Skyview ending, but if you change SoHi’s name, colors, and mascot, then Soldotna High School as it’s known today also ends. Is it really necessary to wound the entire community to spare the feelings of 150 or so students? Change SoHi, and you’ve created a much larger pool of “victims.”

In fact, nearly every argument that can made for changing SoHi can be made against it too. Students have to learn that change is part of life, I agree. But by changing SoHi, you’ve neglected teaching this lesson to the students of Skyview. And to be honest, as a community we have to stop pandering to our children. Life hurts sometimes, things change, the world will not stop to appease you, sometimes we do lose. Changing SoHi to appease 150 students, is like asking the world to stop spinning, or to spin slower. You want to force change on 500 students for 150 students.

Lastly, Skyview and its history will be represented in the middle school, so why must it also be represented in the High School. Change SoHi and you’ve obliterated three school’s legacies — Skyview, Soldotna Middle School, and Soldotna High School.

Name change or not, this transition is not going to be easy. Skyview is closing, SoHi doesn’t have to. There will inevitably be some tension, change SoHi and you’re going to encourage tension between schools. If, as a community, we want this transition to go smoothly, asking SoHi to change to suit its new community members is not the solution, asking SoHi to adapt is.

I respect Skyview, and I do believe they should be accommodated. Adding a spirit day to represent purple, allowing a paw print next to their names in programs, letting them be recognized as Skyview attendees during Senior Nights — those are reasonable adaptations.

This argument is not about the past, it’s about the present and the future. It’s not really about those who’ve already graduated. It’s about the students enrolled next year. Why is KPBSD focusing so much energy, time, and passion on a proposal that has nothing to do the education of our students, but their feelings. I want to read in the newspaper about how KPBSD is going to improve the education, opportunity, and guidance for my little sister, my nephews, the little leaguers I watch and coach in the summer, the freshman who I befriended my senior year. Vote no on the proposal, and let’s please focus on raising our kids, not babying them.

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