Come on – this is junior high school
Recently, Lake Oswego Junior High School banned superlatives, such as Best Dressed or Funniest, from the school yearbook. One student, Sammy Saldivar, wrote in this paper that she wanted them back, while student Cole Hodgson wrote defending the ban. As a 13-year-old kid who talks too much, I'd like to voice my opinion on this debate.
I agree with Sammy. Superlatives are fun and give us something to look back on when we are 40. No one's going to cry if they don't get Best Dressed, but for the person who does, it might just make her or his day.
Cole writes, 'I don't think we should label people before we have to.' The sad truth is, it already happens. We all know who's 'cool' who's a 'square.' (OK, we probably wouldn't use the term square, but you know what I mean.) And the labels we're considering for the yearbook aren't mean. I don't think anyone would hate being labeled Funniest, or Best Dressed, or Most Likely to Succeed.
Could someone get his or her feelings hurt by not being chosen for a certain title/label? Maybe, but come on - this is junior high. There are 1,000 ways to get your feelings hurt every day. That's just the way school is.
'Voting on how well someone dresses, who is the funniest or the most intelligent has nothing to do with important things,' writes Cole, 'like decision-making skills, leadership, accountability, or integrity.' That's true. But have you ever heard of a school voting someone Most Accountable? I haven't.
The school banned superlatives, saying they would be popularity contests. Sammy replied, so is student government, but they didn't ban that. Cole takes student government seriously, saying he gives it a lot of thought. Well, I'm glad he does, but let me admit it: For most of us school government is a popularity contest! We are kids, we like to vote for our friends. (Plus, the school government's main power seems to be choosing between wacky hair day and pajama day for Spirit Week. By the way, we went for pajama day).
Then there's the argument that it's too soon to start labeling each other. Cole states, 'we are still not even close to how we will be as grownups.' And you know what: he's right. We're all still kids, or tweens, or teenagers, and I want to act like one! Let me call the funny guy the funniest. He won't mind. By being over protective, the school is demonizing a harmless practice. Voting on superlatives isn't the devil, so get over it and let us do it! I might even recommend Cole for Most Accountable.
Zane Sparling is a 13-year-old teen at Lake Oswego Junior High School.