My “Ghetto, Inner-City” Alma Mater

My old high school is getting somewhat of a bad reputation these days. For a long time, it was the only high school serving a city whose population was growing by leaps and bounds. The majority of the newcomers are from more northern states (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc.). Needless to say, the high school was severely overcrowded and resources were stretched. A new school was finally built and opened in the fall of 2010 – over four years after I had graduated. Had I still been in high school, I would have attended the new school.

So redistricting took place and eased some of the overcrowding problem. Now my old high school has a reputation for being the “ghetto, inner-city” high school in town. It’s been around since 1904 (I still remember when the 100-year anniversary was celebrated), and although they keep making renovations and adding new buildings, there’s nothing they can really do to stop the rumors about its reputation. I wouldn’t call my old school “inner-city,” really. It is in the city, but it’s not a big city. Our town is situated in what’s essentially a rural area. I wouldn’t call it “ghetto,” even though from what I’ve heard on the news, more gang violence is happening.

Just this week, someone wrote a threat on the walls of the school. Parents had called in with rumors about a school shooting. Security was stepped up on Monday, and thankfully, nothing happened. It’s interesting to speculate about the rumors and what the truth of the matter was – whether it was someone from a “gang” who made the threat or not. It’s not the first time there’s been such a threat and it probably won’t be the last. I don’t know if the rumors are coming from students looking to cause trouble or the parents themselves.

When I attended the school, it was old and falling apart – this was before some of the new buildings were up. There weren’t any “gangs,” unless you count the usual high school cliques. During my freshman year, a creepy administrator was fired for supposedly having sexual contact with some girls. For a period of time, there was a ban on wearing shirts bearing images of the Confederate flag. There were some fights. Kids got suspended and sent to detention. All of those things can happen at any school, anywhere. They’re part of life.

But they are problems. Even so, complaints about the administration aren’t going to solve anything. Parents who act like children aren’t going to get anything accomplished. Creating rumors is going to worsen whatever real tensions exist. What’s important is focusing on EDUCATION, above all things. It may be true that the educational systems in this county, this state, and this country, are falling apart. Mind your business and focus on your child’s education. If you suspect he/she isn’t getting a quality education at the school in your district, then you should make a difference for your own child, but not by spreading rumors, complaining, or bashing the school or its administration.

8 thoughts on “My “Ghetto, Inner-City” Alma Mater

  1. My school has a worse reputation now than when I went but to be honest I think if you want to learn you will. Perhaps they went downhill because we left 🙂


    1. That is true. I don’t think a traditional high school setting is right for everyone. Some students really just don’t want to be there.


  2. It’s been a long time since I marched down my HS Football Field to claim my diploma. 😀

    Education reform should be a top priority in this country. But not by adding testing for kindergartners (that’s insane). Instead, the first few years of school should focus on teaching kids to LOVE learning.

    If all students loved to learn . . . teachers would have time to teach.


    1. I think all standardized tests, regardless of grade level, should be done away with. It’s a total waste of time and real life isn’t full of multiple choice questions and answers.


      1. Totally agree… standardized tests are the exact opposite direction we should be heading… learning is about actually learning the material… not about taking a multiple choice test and writing a bland repetitive essay in 45 minutes. It’s not preparing people for the real world.


  3. It’s time to completely revamp the educational system. Educational institutions are nothing but business centres. The conventional exams are of no use. As a teacher I feel I could not do much for the children as long as exams are the criteria. And the parents who believe “My child – always right” are interfering too much, unnecessarily. Great thoughts, Maggie!


    1. That’s true. So many parents are unwilling to see their child’s faults and realize when it’s their child who’s at fault and not the teacher/administration.


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