Lots of people, myself included, have memories from high school that we intentionally have blocked out of our minds so as not to continually relive the horror. However, tonight I was reminded by my mom of an incident that I ought to have remembered, namely because it was a good event.
My senior year of high school, the school paper was resurrected from its umpteenth year of non-existence, and because the sponsor/teacher was my creative writing teacher from the previous year and appreciated my writing skills, he appointed me editor-in-chief. I was tickled. Now, I tend to be a fairly upfront, confrontational person. I don’t pick fights for the sake of trying to prove myself right, but I am not afraid to defend my views and beliefs. Imagine the delight the position of journalist gives to this type of personality.
Well, at my high school, school dress code stated that skirts and shorts had to be a certain length or no more than “x” number of inches above the knee. I actually appreciated this
policy because I believe the Proverb that states that a beautiful woman who shows no discretion is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. It’s just pointless and pitiful. What I did not appreciate was that the cheerleaders, whose uniform skirts rose several inches above this line, were exempt from this rule on game days during football season. It was also school policy that the football players had to wear their jerseys and slacks and the cheerleaders had to wear their uniforms all day during school to build school morale (and possibly boost ticket sales?).
So, being in a position to say something about this, I wrote an editorial column (my section of preference) about this hypocritical policy. Cheerleaders should be setting the example as representatives of our school, not being endorsed to break the rules. The principal examined all of our articles before they ever went to print. One day, I get called up to his office. The conversation (and of course I’m severely paraphrasing here) goes a little like this:
Principal: I understand your point with this article. It’s very good and I appreciate your candor. However, it could present a bad image of the school. Would you mind if this did not get published if the school’s policy was revised by requiring that the cheerleaders wear their sweat pants with the top of their outfit?
Me: Well, I am a little sad that this piece won’t get published, but I am glad that you agree with my standpoint and are so willing to take action on it. Thank you!
I left a legacy. I changed a public school policy, simply by doing a class assignment (our fledgling paper was not an after-school gig. It was “journalism class”). At 17, I made a difference in my own little corner of the world.
1 Timothy 4:12, 14a “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity…Do not neglect the gift that is in you.”
Who says youth can’t make a difference?