Bacon Bits: Out-of-district students earn respect

Jacey Bacon, Opinion Editor

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I can’t count how many times I have explained to my peers and teachers that I am from Lapwai but that I completed open enrollment requirements to attend school in Lewiston. Lewiston is just a better fit for me. After five years in the Lewiston School District, I am thankful for my experience here. I encourage other kids to pursue the education that is best for them, no matter what school that might include.  
  When students transfer to school districts other than the ones where they live — whether it be for academics, sports or just a change of scenery — they are expected to meet all the same requirements as those students who live in the district. We are expected to walk a fine line with details such as attendance and grade point average. This means that students who live out of their school district are often trying to be on their best behavior around school administration. This can be hard on students, and especially student athletes.
  Within recent years many local small-town student athletes have been transferring to bigger schools outside of their home districts. This can mean that the students get a better education and the schools’ programs gain new talent. This should seem like a win-win situation, but many community members are distraught, as expressed in recent letters to the Lewiston Tribune.
  Some people think that out-of-district students are “stealing” spots from student athletes who live in larger school districts, and that allowing students to attend a school outside of their home district is unfair. But here’s a reality check: Life is pretty unfair. Students who feel worried about losing a spot on the team or losing playing time should focus on improving their skills instead of blaming other students who just want to attend a great high school.
  Personally, I have never been a student athlete but I do participate in school activities such as journalism and leadership that have reserved spots for select students. When people find out that I hold these positions they congratulate me for participating in and bettering a community that I don’t live in. Why shouldn’t it be the same for student athletes?
  There is also the argument that says, “If a student really wants to go to school in this district why don’t they just move here?” This argument is ridiculous. It is not up to the student to decide where an entire family lives, and why would a family uproot their lives just to live 15 minutes closer to a school? Furthermore, community members who believe that out-of-district students are considered for positions before in-district students, regardless of skill, are not considering that coaches are trying to create the best team possible. Making the team does not depend on where a student lives, but how talented that student is and how hard he or she is willing to work to help the team succeed.
  After high school, most students will either attend a college or jump right into the workforce. High school is responsible for preparing students for the rest of their lives, and colleges educate students from all over the world. Why should high schools not include students who live just 10 miles away? The community members who claim that out-of-district students make things unfair are likely the same ones who refuse to assist in the bettering of communities by supporting levees to improve schools. Doesn’t it seem unfair to stifle the improvement of schools just because of where a few students live?                          

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2 Responses to “Bacon Bits: Out-of-district students earn respect”

  1. Dawn Leighton on February 15th, 2017 12:09 am

    Great points, Jacey! I think a lot of thought goes into transferring to a school outside of one’s home town. After high school, the students who choose to attend college do have to compete with many other students from the U.S., as well as other countries. Keep up the great job reporting, Jacey! I am proud of our hometown girl, making a statement and a difference.


  2. Leah Uptmor on February 15th, 2017 2:52 pm

    This was very well written and refreshing to see student journalists focusing on local stories rather than politics during this time. Keep up the good work!


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Bacon Bits: Out-of-district students earn respect