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The secret to school spirit

Dear Editor,

The best way to upset some people is to tell the truth. We are all familiar with the adage, “The truth shall set you free.” But more often than not, the truth will set you apart, especially with those who don’t want to accept the realities of life. This is also the case with the one element of the school setting that absolutely promotes “school spirit,” which a few in the educational field do not want to admit. That aspect of the school environment is: “Athletics.”

When students have free time between classes or during lunch period, you will rarely hear them discussing how excited they are about going to their math or chemistry class. Instead, they are talking about the big game, be it football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, etc. Competition is part of the human experience, which can’t be denied. And athletics prepare students for the ups and downs of adult living.

Actually, athletics and academics complement each other. When students feel good about their extracurricular activities, this enthusiasm spills over into the classroom setting. Such students, who feel good about themselves and their school, will possess a positive attitude and perform much better in their content- area subjects.

My recommendation to all school administrators is to promote success in all extracurricular activities and proudly display championship banners throughout the gymnasium. By doing so, school spirit will be at a premium, both athletically and academically.

Nobody said it better than a very famous leader of philosophers and scholars during his lifetime:

“He who is only an athlete is too crude, too vulgar, too much a savage. He who is a scholar only is too soft. The ideal citizen is the scholar-athlete, a man of thought and a man of action.”

Plato

427 BC – 347 BC

Bill Welker

Wheeling

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