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Without teachers, students are an endangered species

Daniel Haygood
Sophomore, Quincy High School

My name is Daniel Haygood, sophomore of Quincy High School. “The” Quincy High School. The school I attend now is a Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) accredited, quality, caring school. And that’s the way I want to keep it. Along with the other 800 students of Plumas County.

Our beloved teachers are in immediate danger of losing their jobs, but we are the real victims. Over the past few years, newer teachers have made a transition into our community. They are vital to our education and growth as a school. But it is every single teacher who holds as much weight in our education as Dr. Segura and Mr. Harris themselves.

The importance of this cannot be overlooked. Before we resort to drastic measures, perhaps we should take a look at the next level. The executive level. Is everything being done in the district office building that can be done? Are proper cutbacks being enforced? Or, are the people we elected treating themselves in a manner that differs from the way we are being treated?

A week ago, the students of Quincy High School (QHS) demonstrated the strength of our commitment to our teachers, old and new. Our voices were heard. I stress the enormity of devastation that this impending decision holds. Letting go of these teachers will hurt us in ways you have not thought of.

Imagine yourself in Miss Frediani’s classroom at QHS. Look at all the banners hanging up on her walls. Texas Christian, UC Davis, Santa Clara, Lewis and Clark, Notre Dame. This is our legacy. And when these teachers go, where will we go?

AP classes drop, clubs disappear. Sports programs vanish one by one. Then the students start to go. We’ve heard the threats in the hallways: “Oh, I’ll just go to Chart.” “I’ll graduate early and get a GED.” “Maybe I’ll drop out.”

The students of Plumas County will band together to keep our schools successful. We need the board to listen to us. And you hold the key. What you saw Friday, Feb. 24, was just a small example of our dedication. Together we are strong. We love our teachers and will show it no matter the consequence.

I am one voice of many who struggle to keep our children in their seats, learning from the ones who have earned the right to teach us. I would not be standing here before you today if any one of the teachers was not doing his or her jobs as best as any other teacher in the world.

Every one of them has earned my respect and every single other student’s respect. They are one aspect we just cannot afford to lose. I beg you to hear me. There is a solution to the economic strife we are in, but it does not reside in the letting go of our valued friends, the teachers.

I am calling (for) support, not just for my fellow students. I am fighting for the future. The posters around the QHS campus state, “Lose our teachers, lose our education.” Education is the future.

We are the future. And from what it looks like now, we are in danger of the school board limiting us and keeping us from reaching our full potential as American citizens.

Just because we can’t vote yet doesn’t mean we aren’t counted on the United States census. If anything, we are the most important part on that form. You are putting all of the social and economic and wartime problems upon our backs.

The national debt won’t go away on its own. But that’s where we come in. We are the problem solvers! It’s inevitable. So if you’re interested in the future of America, I recommend you give us everything you can.

Don’t hold back one single fact. Prepare us for the task we face as we are sent off to college. As the protectors of education, it is their duty to make sure each and every student gets the education we so fully deserve. Under their watch, a new description of the students of Plumas County has emerged: Endangered species.

 

Editor’s note: Haygood delivered these remarks at the Saturday, March 3, meeting of the four 7-11 school closure committees.

 

 

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