Letter to the Editors

Dear Editors,

Mr. Desmond wrote that the February 23, 2021 Eye of the Editors opinion article, “GLC messaging invalidates student experiences” really “missed the mark,” but I think it was he, and anyone else who felt offended by the editorial, who missed the point. The author(s) clearly acknowledged the adults’ good intentions but were simply expressing pain and disappointment that can no longer be alleviated by inspirational quotes and free donuts. Yes, those efforts are appreciated and better than nothing. Yes, these past 2 years have been disappointing all around. But the “missed opportunities and memories” the adults experienced cannot compare to what the teenagers lost. Yes, the students will get through it. Yes, adversity can and should build strength. But I wonder if Mr. Desmond remembers his senior year? Not the senior years he has experienced as a GLC, but HIS senior year? The Class of 2021 is in the middle of suffering a loss. Students have a right not to whine, but to grieve. Those of us who have suffered a major loss have loved ones who said all the wrong things. By feeling uncomforted, were we blaming them for our pain as Mr. Desmond suggests? Of course not. But platitudes often make the person expressing them feel better than the person hearing them.

The editors took a survey, drew the readers a picture, and yet were attacked for expressing their views. Isn’t an opinion article the correct forum in which to express opinions? I always found the Eye of the Editors insightful and refreshing and applauded the paper for allowing free speech. At a time when knee-jerk cancel culture threatens the ability of our young generation to think for themselves, it concerns me to witness the admonishment of young people who actually put research and thought into what they say and write.

Does the administration know what it was like for students and parents to be told to stay at home last spring, only to log onto the WVUSD and DBHS websites and see photos of staff and volunteers out and about, on campus and off, not social distancing, and enjoying each other’s company while distributing lunches, passing out yard signs, and spreading cheer? We appreciated their efforts, their time, their good intentions, and it was wonderful to see. But it also hurt to sit at home and watch. Likewise, logging on to the websites and seeing photos of previous years’ graduations was rather “in your face” of what the Class of 2020 and now the Class of 2021 will not experience. Last year, seeing the word “unprecedented” in administrative correspondences elicited the same visceral response in me that nails on a chalkboard do. It became a useless adjective, a word administration seemed to hide behind during negotiations and an empty, hackneyed expression. As an adult, it doesn’t matter how difficult my job is; I’m paid to do it. For high schoolers, just being a senior on campus was the payoff they had been taught to anticipate.

The authors were right – this is another work year for the adults. Or are none of the staff coming back next year? The adults will have other years as high school (insert job titles here). They’re not in the same boat. The students have listened to the adults all year. We should allow them to speak freely, without fear of reproach, to open discussions and help everyone learn, as long as they do it respectfully, which they did.


A Class of 2020 parent


(Response to GLC Mr. Desmond’s comment in the “Eye of the Editors: GLC messaging invalidates student experiences”)