Convocations, Goodbye Forever: Administration’s decision to remove all-school convocations this year beneficial for students, safety of CHS

September 21, 2018

I don’t think I’ve talked to anyone at CHS who looked forward to all-school convocations. In all my years at this school, I’ve gone through the motions time after time—suddenly you find yourself shuffling slowly along with the crowd, attempting to fit 5,000-plus people through a four-person-wide doorway. Finally, you make it inside, to realize the only seats left are on the ground. And all of it, this logistical nightmare for administration and time-waster for students, culminates with a presentation made inaudible by a chorus of complaints—“Why are we even doing this again?” “There’s no service in here!”

This year, the administration has come to my rescue: convocations are gone. And this isn’t just good news for those who found themselves contemplating hiding in the restroom until the convocations ended: anyone in favor of boosted security measures to improve school safety should be celebrating.

School safety is really complicated, and there’s no easy fix. According to research from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), proposed solutions like metal detectors are not only expensive and difficult to use on over 5,000 students every day, they also actually make kids feel unsafe. NASP states one of the most important parts of keeping schools safe is the psychological health of students, and metal detectors as well as other precautions such as arming teachers or increasing police presence actually make students feel more unsafe by making schools seem more like a high-security jail.

Getting rid of convocations is a perfect and simple way to promote school safety, efficiently reducing the risk of a potentially dangerous situation occurring like the incident last year involving rumors of a school shooting that would happen at a CHS convocation.

All of this is not to say I don’t want to appreciate the accomplishments of my fellow students and athletes. However, there are other ways to congratulate and showcase high-achievers. Last year after the marching band won Grand Nationals, groups of students cycled through the auditorium to watch a video recording of their award-winning set. We can apply this premise to what has, in the past, been accomplished with a convocation—even livestreaming a presentation or performance over CHTV during SRT is a viable possibility that would congratulate our best and brightest without the hassle of convocations. Overall, administration’s decision to cut convocations should be hailed as a subtly brilliant solution to multiple far-reaching problems at this school.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Carson TerBush at [email protected]

To see 15 Minutes of Fame Editor Selena Liu’s perspective on this issue, click here.

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