Editorial: Recovering Lost Hatter Pride


When asked about what HH can do better, senior Christina Bender said, “I think that emails regarding students should be sent to us, not just our parents.”

In spite of our high hopes for the 2021-2022 school year, the past couple of weeks have not met our expectations in the least. In the week of Nov. 8, fights and threats of violence to the school have left students, teachers and staff fearing for their safety at HH, culminating with an early dismissal on Friday, Nov. 12. Administration met with each graduating class the following Monday, Nov. 15 to address much of the uncertainty and concern within the school atmosphere. Now, administration is trying to work with the student body to revive Hatter Pride. To solve many of these issues, better communication and discipline is needed from administration.

After fights broke out on Thursday and rumors of threats to the school were going around, students and teachers were already scared about going into school Friday. During 2nd period, when the lockdown alarm went off, students had no idea what was happening. There was no communication prior to the lockdown. While teachers say they received an email, that email only told teachers to keep students in the room. Many feared that there was someone in the building threatening safety, and many classrooms had to barricade doors and hide in corners. 

Eventually, we were all dismissed. However, this didn’t make the weekend any easier. We had time to digest the events of the previous week, but we were unsure of what was to come that Monday. On Saturday, head principal Mr. Dennis Williams sent out an email to parents explaining some of the situation and how each class would meet on Monday to address much of the concern. Although, many parents did not feel at ease. Many students remained home on Monday because of their concern for their safety. 

School is supposed to be a safe space for all students. No one should feel unsafe or be placed in an uncomfortable atmosphere when trying to learn. Despite administration’s communication with students on Monday, we still feel that there are many improvements to be made. When an email was sent out on Saturday regarding the events of the past week, only parents received a message from Mr. Williams. The message was pertinent to the student body, as we are the group directly being affected, but we did not directly receive information.

Rumors continued to spread throughout the week because we were not getting any updates and communication from administration. Much of the fear on Friday was built up because no students knew what was happening. 

Even some of the disciplinary reforms made have frustrated students. While students are able to sign out in FlexTime Manager for academic purposes, no clubs are able to meet in person. Virtually meeting during HATS is an alternative, but it makes it harder for students to attend. After an entire year of online chatting over Microsoft Teams, it can be frustrating to have to go back to that, especially since we have the capability now to meet in person. To many students who consistently do the right thing and stay out of trouble, this feels like an unfair punishment.

Also, the lack of discipline at the beginning of the year seems to be correlated with the fights at school. While the leniency was well-intended, it ultimately enabled more chaos. Behavioral issues should not be tolerated, especially when they involve the physical and emotional harming of another student.

We understand this is a tough time for everyone at HH, students, teachers, staff and administration alike. To get past this, we need to work together to make the high school a safe place for everyone. At the same time, we need to hold ourselves accountable for our actions. Students who do not do the right thing need to be disciplined accordingly. Administrators need to communicate with the rest of the school to prevent rumors from spreading and heightening anxiety. Pointing fingers will only make an even more hostile environment at HH.

We need to include more students in conversations to better the environment at HH to get a diverse spectrum of ideas. For example, instead of selecting one leadership board to suggest changes, a rotation of different students selected at random would give everyone the opportunity to have their voices heard. To improve communication, students should receive frequent updates on any issues occurring in the school to prevent the spreading of rumors, misinformation and anxiety. Discipline should be reinforced and students that are insubordinate to teachers and administration should face appropriate consequences. By creating a more united building, students can readjust to the school environment we have been missing for the past two years.