by ELEXA SIERRA
Not to be a downer on the fist-pumping, music-blaring, and voice-losing screams that come with every spirit-filled rally, but our are chants for victory an even louder cry to the dangers that surround high school students and their hungry rage for school rivalry?
It is all fun and play, high school football games; but is it more than that? Is there a deeper safety issue circling school rivalry of our town or any town for that matter? Log onto twitter the night of saddle or cowhide, students of rivalry schools are tweeting back and forth vicious comments defending their high school. Given, these comments are harmless… most of the time. Rewind to about a month or two ago, Mt.Whitney is playing Tulare Western on a usual Friday night game. Whitney loses: players, students, and fans are upset and things start to hit the roof. A student went as far as to threaten the lives of Tulare Western students due to the loss of the game. This is our town, these are our students, this is actually happening and it is important to take these things seriously in retrospect.
Now, not only are our peers talking the talk of school rivalry, but they are walking the walk of even physical assault and crime in the name of the game. As we all know, sabotage of the local schools are a must for one of the biggest games of the season. But what these kids do and how far these “pranks” are taken are a serious community issue. Schools have been victim to profanity laced graffiti, campuses have been trashed, and even students have been assaulted (the stolen mascot head). Not so friendly anymore is it?
It would be false to say that these students participate in school rivalry out of pure anger and hatred for other schools. No, in fact is it purely out of fun and spirit, and the opportunity to be about of something that is happening here and now in their very own schools. Nonetheless, there is always room to improve the tradition of high school rivalry, while still having fun.