Helping our kids grow up

There are many compelling reasons to close the Vashon High School campus, putting an end to a senior ritual that administrators say is often abused. Thirty minutes is hardly time to get into town and back with a Subway sandwich. Why should kids be burning up fossil fuel for a jaunt like that anyway? And then, of course, some are doing more than grabbing a sandwich. In light of the Healthy Youth Survey that found teen marijuana use higher on Vashon than the rest of the state, administrators have legitimate reasons for concern.

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2008 5:16pm
  • Opinion

There are many compelling reasons to close the Vashon High School campus, putting an end to a senior ritual that administrators say is often abused. Thirty minutes is hardly time to get into town and back with a Subway sandwich. Why should kids be burning up fossil fuel for a jaunt like that anyway? And then, of course, some are doing more than grabbing a sandwich. In light of the Healthy Youth Survey that found teen marijuana use higher on Vashon than the rest of the state, administrators have legitimate reasons for concern.

At the same time, Chris Carter, a junior at VHS, has put forward a compelling proposal that seeks to find a middle ground in this debate. His policy, now before the school board, would call for tough penalties for those who abuse the privilege, would limit the exits students can use to leave the school and would give the administration wide discretion to revoke the privilege.

The proposal won’t solve all the problems. VHS is seriously understaffed during the lunch hour, when teachers — by way of their union contract — are “duty free,” leaving Principal Susan Hanson and Vice Principal Stephanie Spencer to patrol the entire campus. If Hanson and Spencer are at the designated exits checking student ID before they leave, they won’t be keeping an eye on the rest of the “porous campus,” as some call it.

But we think the proposal — and the thoughtful kids behind it — deserve a chance. They’ve taken this matter seriously. They’ve come up with an approach that has merit. And they’ve made it clear that they’ll do what they can to make this work.

Many of these kids will be old enough to join the Army and head to Iraq next fall. They’re on the cusp of adulthood. Here’s an opportunity to help them in that journey before they’re out in the world, completely on their own.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Wildfires must be turning point for climate action

As the smoke clears, remember when you could barely breathe and everything became sepia.

Unemployment impacts the island community

Almost 600 islanders are still unemployed following the Governor’s COVID-shutdown orders in March.

We still need each other

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we are all vulnerable.

On Vashon, hope comes from working together

Stories of islanders lending a hand to build a more perfect, compassionate commons give us hope.

Zen and the Art of Well Maintenance

Here is what you should do to safeguard a residential well and the island’s collective water supply.

Think of Bees Before Using Harmful Chemicals

Some insect control products have been shown to be very harmful to bees.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Republican’s write-in campaign highlights post-primary intrigue | Roegner

Can former Bothell mayor beat two Democrats for lieutenant governor post?

A rent fund helps those most impacted by economic free-fall

We are working diligently and persistently to keep people in their homes in the midst of this crisis

Schools needed more input on learning plan

We wish that there had been more intensive communication and outreach to Vashon families.

Decisions behind learning plan require full board, islanders

There are better options out there that merit public discussion and consideration.

Let’s take it outside

What we cannot do is be content delivering an ineffective education to children who already struggle

Given a Daunting Task, Schools Must be Ready to Serve Every Student

But even in these crucial, final days before the start of the academic year, uncertainty abounds.