Alice and the sad face: A Richmond Heights entertainer in search of school spirit

He is the principal of Richmond Heights High School. Our boys basketball team, the Spartans, is very good. They just won the Division IV state championship.

But it seems that our students have no spirit. Not many people come to our games, and those who do want to interact more than they want to entertain the players. Home games or away games – no matter what we viewers do, it’s cricket.

When I was young, I used to watch the movie “High School Musical.” The players danced in the hallways, sang in the cafeteria and were always happy to be in high school. I would think, “That looks really cool. I can’t wait until it’s my life.”

New building, broken bonds

But in our school, people don’t seem happy. It’s not just in sports. To see also : Netflix’s ‘Cheer’ crew is on a national tour, coming to Gas South Arena June 18. People react aggressively all the time.

One day when I was in the hallway, I asked several members of the student council about this.

Chaleyah, the student council vice president, said she felt excited about the school at the beginning of the year, but her excitement quickly faded.

He blamed that in part on our new school building, which opened this year.

Rules banning wall posters in a new school building in Richmond Heights have been relaxed. [Keith Freund / Ideastream Media]

“I mean, honestly, when you look around it’s like two or three colors,” Chaleyah said. “It’s not a character, and I feel like that also affects how we act.”

There are many strict rules, too. We will not put leaflets on the walls, we will not have water in the classroom, we will not have student meetings in the cafeteria.

Jalani, who is also on the student council, blamed the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said: “I think once we moved to the new school and the COVID, and all this inside and stuff, it changed for us. “We all became more independent, not more. group. So because of that, our behavior has changed.”

COVID-19 has affected children in many schools, not just ours. Studies show that depression and even suicide attempts have increased among young people since the beginning of this epidemic. It is because of isolation, and because many children have lost friends and family members because of this disease.

I have also noticed a change in myself. I used to talk a lot, but now I’m quiet and I keep more to myself.

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Modeling the ‘Spartan Way’

I wondered what the seniors running our school thought of all this – and what could be done to boost morale. This may interest you : Kamu Grugier-Hill and Christian Kirksey announced live on Good Morning America that the Texans will outfit the Uvalde Coyotes football team with new uniforms this season..

Our principal, Marnisha Brown, comes on the PA system sometimes between classes, trying to get people to come to games.

He told me he thinks open enrollment, where kids can come to Richmond Heights from other districts, has caused some problems with school spirit. This year, 10 percent of our students are from other states.

“Sometimes you don’t have your culture and your spirit and your pride well established, the newcomers try to make it their own,” Ms. Brown said. “And we always say we have to show them the Spartan Way, but we have to explain what the Spartan Way is and model it for them.”

A new basketball court at Richmond Heights High School (and a new school building) is set to open in 2021. [Keith Freund / Ideastream Public Media]

He said maybe we can teach more kids the Spartan Way by starting a Pep Club. He also wants to start removing some of the rules that came with the new building.

That’s why I’m going to advocate, ‘Put things on the walls, let’s do what we have to do,'” he said. “Because this is a school. This is not an office. This is a school.”

I think that’s a good start. Once the school spirit starts to change inside the school, it will improve in sports.

After the last few years we’ve had, we all need to think of ways to have more fun.

Devine Howard, a graduating senior at Richmond Heights High School, will attend Central State University this fall. This story was reported by Justin Glanville of Ideastream Public Media.

Sound of Us from Ideastream Public Media empowers Northeast Ohioans to tell their stories. If you want to participate, get in touch!

Copyright 2022 WKSU. To see more, visit WKSU.

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