Opinion

Paper shouldn't perpetuate stereotypes

Hello, I am Danielle Harding and I am a student at Two Rivers School. I am writing in regard to the article that was written for the March 21, 2002, Valley Record newspaper. The article is about some of our students here at Two Rivers. It was meant to be an article praising many of our students who have been involved in tutoring at the elementary schools around the Valley. Yet in the first three paragraphs, we are stereotyped as "bad teens," to sum it up.

The article begins by saying that Two Rivers' students are headed down a tough road. That may be true for some but not all, just as with any stereotype. Just because we go to an "alternative" school, we are looked at as "different." But isn't everyone different?

The second paragraph proceeds to talk about teens with children and kids having problems with the law. But should that be looked at in this article? Yes, there are a handful of students who have their own children, and yes, there are also a handful of students who have had problems with the law. But there are teen mothers at "regular" high schools, and teens that have problems with the law at "regular" high schools. Why should a few students' issues be highlighted just because we are students at an "alternative" school?

The third paragraph goes on to say, "All of them struggle to decide what they might do after graduation." What is that all about? Personally, I know exactly what I want to do after high school, along with many of the other students here! But is that the point? Don't all teens struggle with what they are going to do after college while they are still in college? Isn't that what life is all about? Finding what your calling is?

I will give the writer, Ben Cape, a thank you for writing this article that shows the community that we are giving back to them; but when reading these paragraphs, I felt a twinge of jealousy toward the students at "regular" high schools. Then I realized that I shouldn't have these feelings at all. I am proud to be a Two Rivers student.


Danielle Harding

North Bend

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