Opinion: Where is our Dickinson school spirit?

Arlene opio, School Spirit

By Arlene Opio

As I begin to write this article, I realize that more than half of Dickinson students won’t even read it. Three fourths of the student body will say ‘no’ when asked if they would like to receive a copy of the newsletter. For some of those who do say ‘yes,’ they will use the many articles written by the talented news staff to add to the mess in the cafeteria. Copies of “The Dickinson Patriot” will be scattered around the lunchroom, on the tables and floor. When going to toss out the remnants of my lunch, I will see a few more copies the staff will have handed out in the trash, underneath mystery sauces, meats and Pat’s Pizza. But I don’t take it personally; I try to remind myself that there’s a bigger problem at hand than the lack of interest in a newspaper copy. Unity. That is a key factor for a thriving community, and it is a quality that seems to be absent at times throughout the halls of this school, said senior Camryn Blake. “ . . . [N]ot many people show up to participate in sports or clubs. . . and even with the sports teams we have people don’t come to practices or they end up quitting the team. And we don’t have a lot of support from our school to come to games and cheer us on,” Blake said. As students, this can be frustrating. When you’re playing a sport, giving your all, with an empty array of bleachers, the only cheers coming from the crowd brought by the opposing team, its certainly discouraging. We see this as a sign of the lack of care our students have for one another. However, there are two sides to every story. “When you talk about school spirit, you talk about fostering a sense of community where students feel connected to a larger whole,” said Principal Murphy. “ . . . [T]here are two really difficult things about doing that in this particular environment. The first thing is that our students come from all over New Castle County. When you picture a dance or a baseball game after school . . . it’s really hard for a lot of our students to engage in the full life of the community because [of] transportation.” Unlike many other schools in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, students who attend Dickinson don’t all live five to ten minutes away. Most commute from the city, areas of Wilmington that can be over thirty minutes away depending on the time of day. “At our school we have a much broader spectrum of what’s happening in New Castle County, and our school serves some kids who are experiencing some of the toughest childhoods that New Castle County has to offer. Those challenges that kids see in their home life comes to school with them.” Principal Murphy explained.