A reflection on tradition and core values

Credit: Manoel B

Credit: Manoel B

Though not explicit, respect, accountability, and principle are among the Core Values that bind Graded together. Respect for the teachers and administrators who work tirelessly for our education, future, and success, as well as respect for the staff that puts in long hours to maintain our school in excellent condition and preserve its safety. Principle encompasses our communal values and ensures that students are ethical in their decisions. Accountability relies on students’ ability to take responsibility for their actions.

Unfortunately, these Core Values were absent when the “Senior Prank” descended into chaos. What the participants decided to do that night went against the values that form our close-knit and positive community. Though past classes have attempted similar acts, precedent does not justify the harm felt by our school. Tradition does not excuse spiteful transgressions and a lack of judgment.

What these individuals did was hurtful to all involved. Early in the morning, the cleaning and maintenance staffs had to restore classrooms and facilities to operating condition. Guards ensure the school’s safety, but never could it be imagined that they would need to protect the school from its own students. Teachers and administrators saw their belongings and rooms treated with egregious disrespect.

The gratitude that the Class of 2016 has worked to enshrine as its legacy, from providing senior hoodies to teachers to thanking the cleaning and maintenance staffs and guards during the graduation ceremony, is rendered hollow due to the contradicting efforts of some of its members. This was not the desired culmination of years of dedication to studies and devotion to the school.

Graded relies on student integrity and honesty, assuming that its students will uphold the morals that the school espouses. Apologies and explanations have been offered, but the focus must now move to rectification and prevention. Students need to be aware of the values that our community embraces.

If anything is to be learned from this “prank,” we hope that those involved understand the damaging repercussions their actions have had on the school, and that future senior classes recognize the responsibility they have in uniting our community.