The Bear Truth

Underfunded, Under Advertised, and Overlooked

Does Palmer Ridge put too much emphasis on athletics?

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Michael Mendoza (10)

Michael Mendoza (10)

Photo by Regina Park

Photo by Regina Park

Michael Mendoza (10)

By Ashley Ruggiero, Features Co-Editor

When you think of high school, the obvious images of Friday night football games and after-school sports come to mind. These extracurricular activities are by far the most well-funded and advertised among most high schools in the American public school system. Not surprisingly, these also seem to be the most prioritized here at Palmer Ridge. While these are important parts of high school culture and help build the future for the students who participate in them, they seem to steamroll every other club and class here.

In our morning announcements, the latest sports, event, or play is sure to be advertised for all of the student body to hear. However, these events aren’t all that take place for the student body’s entertainment. Here at Palmer Ridge, we also have both a band and a choir that put on incredible concerts after many weeks of practicing. Unfortunately, these concerts aren’t advertised and are thus ignored. When interviewing choir member Duke Mattie (11), he mentioned how little respect choir seems to be given. “The culture of Monument is that football is the coolest,” said Mattie. “Palmer Ridge doesn’t think choir is important.” And it’s not just the members of choir that feel this way. Over the years, many members of other clubs have mentioned how they don’t feel like they are treated with the same respect as many of the athletic teams here.

Among the low level of advertisement given to many clubs, there is also the low level of funding. There are many clubs that require a large sum of money in order to continue running and yet, many of these clubs are given little to no funds. For example, in order to print copies of both Ink Magazine and The Bear Truth, it can cost up to and even over $1,000. Ink Magazine is given $500, while The Bear Truth is given the whopping total of $0. In order to receive the money needed for printing, The Bear Truth staff has to sell advertisements to put in the news magazine or work concessions for the school. While it is understood that the participants of athletic clubs do pay a lot of money in order to be able to play, it is fair to say that they do receive a large amount of funding from the district.

But it’s not just about the clubs and classes that are underfunded or under advertised- it’s also about the ones that are overlooked. There are many classes that were terminated or not even taught in the first place because not enough students were taking it. Even The Bear Truth is under the threat of possible extinction due to the fact that there aren’t as many people taking the class as there are of students taking the required math, science, English, and social studies classes.

Among the list of overlooked classes here at Palmer Ridge is AP French. If this is the first time you are hearing about an AP French class, you wouldn’t be alone. Many students here are forced to cut their pursuit of the French language short due to the fact that Palmer Ridge does not have an AP French class anymore. Two years ago, the class was cut because the majority of students taking French 3 were either graduating or not studying the language in college. Thus, those students who wish to go into careers that require the learning of French are basically forced to fend for themselves.

Luckily for these students, there is an easy fix for this problem. Our rival, Lewis Palmer High School, does in fact find it useful to continue to challenge its French students by allowing them to progress to the AP level. However, as Calculus 3 students can attest, making the haul across town can be problematic and frustrating.

But LP isn’t the only school around that continues to educate its students in the French language. Monument Academy offers its students French classes. Unfortunately, when the students from Monument Academy enter into Palmer Ridge, there aren’t any higher level French classes for them to register for. This will cause those students to cease their learning of the French language and join beginner classes for Spanish or German in order to fulfill their graduation and college requirements.

“If students put in three years of effort into learning,” Ms. Sinkola, the Palmer Ridge French teacher said. “Then they shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to go further.”

The Palmer Ridge French teacher, Ms. Sinkola, has expressed to The Bear Truth and to the administration her desire for an AP French class. Unfortunately, we still have yet to see such a class re-introduced to the school community.

A belief that many students can attest to feeling is that those who aren’t members of sports teams get less care and respect from the Palmer Ridge administration than the athletes. It’s not just about the fact that many other clubs receive significantly less funding than the athletic teams. Many of the clubs and classes here at Palmer Ridge are barely even advertised to the student body. While sports teams receive entire assemblies dedicated to their honor for their accomplishments, other accomplishments, such as Choir’s performances at both the Nuggets game last year and the CHSAA Vocal Gala, go unnoticed. The Palmer Ridge administration needs to remember that sports aren’t the only activities that go on in this school, and that there are other just as important clubs and classes that deserve their attention.

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