Is there unity at YCHS?
Perhaps it was seen when Yuba City High School defeated its cross-town rival, River Valley, for the Mayor's Cup. Perhaps it could've been when Yuba City defeated River Valley in every basketball game last year. Do you see a trend? We at YCHS unite for one reason: to defeat the Falcons. Sure, we protested against block schedule and closed campus, but those issues only held our attention for the short term.
Many YCHS students gave similar replies when asked how they felt about our school's unity — or lack thereof. When referring to two nonathletic incidents of unity, Patrick Ford, a junior, called them "selective unity." Beyond those, he said: "Unity? Ha-ha, no. Not that there's not unity, but since you're likely referring to unity in terms of collectively as a school, then there's none of it.
"High school is a caste system," Patrick continued. "That fact has still failed to gain recognition, but let's be real. Students are partitioned by their own will — some are happy, some are not, but whether they are or not is entirely up to them. Within partitions, or 'cliques,' if you will, there is a great deal of unity, but between these cliques lies little to no unity."
Sadly, Patrick's words ring true.
Danielle Plaxco, a sophomore, feels similarly. "I'm just saying, Tucker, in all honesty, I think we all have our own little groups we hang out with. I don't know how great we all come together. I've known that sometimes, personally, if I'm having a problem or if I need help with something, I have had students that I normally wouldn't talk to come up and help me. So I think it's the typical high-school life. We all have our little cliques, but when we really need something, we're there for each other."
Amidst all the negative thoughts about unity stand two small beacons. Senior class president Maria LaBouyer said, "Yes, there is unity at Yuba City High School because of the support for athletics; i.e., the Brown Mob. And we could all be united in the sense we are all striving toward the same goal of graduating."
Cierra Crandall, a junior, said, "So ... we all have cliques. We all hang out with different people. But when it comes down to it, we're not that bad. There are schools all over the place where kids are beating each other up just because of their race, and at least we're not doing all that. I like it at Y.C. because we do have our separate groups, but when help is needed or any situation calls for it, we can all pull together, no problem, even our classes. Even though we don't hang out with each other on a daily basis, most of the students all get along. And we're there for each other. And that's what's great."
And so, my fellow students, how unified are we? Teachers, what do you think? As we near the end of the semester and finals, maybe we'll see more unity, more of our Honker pride.
We are Honkers, and we will fly.
Tucker Walden is a senior at Yuba City High School. His column appears every six weeks in Education.