Eugene W. Lau is a senior at Oakland’s Skyline High School. -Katy
Skyline High School recently had a unsuccessful after-school rally. It was a repeat of the previous years where misbehavior left seats bare. Last year, thrown water bottles ended the fun, and this year it was from unwelcome guests making an appearance.
However the bigger problem may not even be a short end to a rally of wide mouth cheerers amidst a crowd of dull, emotionless Skyline students; the problem is with school spirit.
Students get a ride, take a bus, or walk up a hill to a school they feel no real pride for. We hear of the university cheers: Go Bears, Go Bruins, Go Aggies. There really is no “Go Titans,” save for the end of the daily announcements over the PA system. The ending cry of dying spirit is only anticipated because it is the end of the PA’s assault on the ears.
Before school starts and during lunch, most students find their respective cliques and clubs and chat for about 30 minutes. Energetic, culture-specific music is blasted from two speakers from a student DJ who plays to schools of fish who speak over the music to their friends. A select few students dance to Jackson and West as students see the dancing as an embarrassment or to others something out of their culture.
It is normal Skyline fare until a fight breaks out and students rush to gawk like a wave of birds, beautifully in sync. Three to five minutes later, after campus security intervenes, the students return to their cliques. The lunch time excitement is back to dull, much like the students’ distaste of the slow week at Skyline High School.
The only school spirit that can be attributed to the students is each one’s own bitter distaste to how the school has changed. From seniors finding the freshman troublesome, to the sophomores’ new-found arrogance for not being the smallest, the only thing that the students can rally behind is their age. During the rally, the seniors shouted loudest and the decibels decreased as the microphone signaled the other classes to cry back.
The disconnect of the students from each other in cliques and class attribute to the lack of unified Skyline Pride. When one sees the Spartan image brandishing a sword and shield, one may remember history class or Odyssey, and Skyline students think of the same. The mascot of war and power may be a call back for the sports teams to remember, but even with a victorious football game, the halls aren’t echoing victory. They are echoing footsteps and clangs of lockers being shut. After P.E., students throw their uniforms back into their cubbies, and the embroidered mascot of Skyline Pride is shoved back into a tiny, cramped, and locked prison, silent.
Sure, Skyline High School has a problem concerning its status and accreditation as a learning institution. But the school shouldn’t let the morale of the place fall by the wayside even when it’s easy to do, even when an after school rally goes to ruins as students crowd outside an empty stadium of silent posters and a static prone audio system.