As a 13-year-old eighth-grade student, I would like to answer the questions asked by Sammy Saldivar in her Oct. 12 citizen's view. Here is my take on this.

I am glad that the administration is not allowing the yearbook to include a page of superlatives, voted by the eighth-grade class. The administration thought it would result in students being voted in by popularity, leaving others out of the running. I agree. Both the administration and Sammy think it would be a popularity contest. But I disagree with Sammy's opinion that it would be a popularity contest just like running for president or student council. When I vote for someone in an election, I give a lot of thought to who would be the best person for the job. Sure, I like to vote for a friend but only if I think he or she will do a good job representing me and what I care about. Banning superlatives is nothing like banning an election for student council. Running for class office requires hard work, commitment and skills that don't have anything to do with being best dressed or having a good smile. Most eighth-graders I know are smart enough to know the difference and vote for the best candidate, not who they think is popular or cool.

Sammy asked, 'Are we getting enough room to grow' in school? My answer is plenty, thanks. I have more than enough opportunity to grow everyday just dealing with grades, tests, sports, music, church, community service and regular family life. Including superlatives in the yearbook would have nothing to do with maturing or letting us 'deal with adult-like situations.' Superlatives require nothing of us as students. Voting on how well someone dresses, who is the funniest or the most intelligent has nothing to do with important things like decision-making skills, leadership, accountability or integrity.

Finally, in answer to the last question, 'What would I do in this situation?' I would ask my classmates to think twice before putting a label on someone. Do we really care what others think about who has the best personality or is most likely to get ahead in life? Let's face it, we are in eighth grade and we are still not even close to who we are going to be as grownups. We are just beginning to figure things out about ourselves. I don't think we should put people in categories sooner than we have to. Sammy might be right, and that's how it is in 'the dark and scary world outside the school walls,' but after all this is just junior high. What's the big hurry anyway? I say let's save the judgmental stuff for high school. There will be lots of time for superlatives sooner than we think.

Cole Hodgson is an eighth-grade student at Lake Oswego Junior High School.

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