EDITORIAL: Students shouldn’t be expected to have school spirit


Sonia Yost

Cheer for Altoona. On Sept. 20, 2019, the student section showed their school spirit by dressing up and cheering for the football team. Although many students and staff work hard to show their school spirit, attending after-school games and activities can become difficult for many.

For many people, the idea of school spirit is an integral part of the high school experience. Teachers, guidance counselors, principals and administrators encourage students to join sports and clubs outside of school so that they may be considered involved and active students. School spirit is seen as a current issue in the school, as many students don’t participate in activities or attend games to support those who are involved. However, it must be recognized that school spirit can be difficult to attain and doesn’t equal a student’s commitment to the school.

The idea of having an active student body is a positive goal; however, this is difficult to achieve. Once the last bell finally rings and the school day is over, many students want to go home and stay in for the night. Other students have jobs or homework (or both) that must be completed (or both). Most students don’t have the time or energy to participate in after-school or extracurricular activities.

Being involved in numerous clubs results in time taken away during school as well. Many clubs require students to miss several days of school for outside activities such as field trips or competitions. Although a student may be learning during a game or club trip, this puts more stress onto that student for missing large amounts of classwork and instructional time.

The struggle of having an active school body doesn’t just apply to the students, it refers to the staff as well. Many teachers don’t have the room in their schedules to advise clubs or coach sports, yet many teachers do.

Despite this, teachers themselves encourage students to join a club or even multiple clubs to strengthen their school spirit. However, having school spirit includes more work and stress for the student. Every year, sophomores join as many clubs and sports as they can to get the full high school experience, yet this often results in overwhelmed and stressed out students. 

Although this is a well-talked about problem that cannot be easily solved, teachers and students should recognize that school spirit is not the most critical aspect of high school. It is important to be involved in the school as a whole, but it is not crucial. 

Students shouldn’t have to worry about their reputation as students, but instead, they should focus on what they want to pursue and do after graduation.