As a graduate from Albion High School who has gone on to pursue an education at Albion College and made Dean’s list first semester, I am highly offended by some of the comments made in Bridge’s article, “13 Miles to Marshall," on the move Albion High students had to make this year to Marshall High School. I can understand what was trying to be accomplished by these articles, however I am not fond of the ways these goals were reached.
If we are all going to be stuck in a world where everyone has to point out a difference in money and skin color, we might as well be stuck in the past, not learning from the mistakes our ancestors made.
[Quoting from the Bridge article] “Our Albion kids have more hurdles, whether it be academic or economic. Our rich Marshall kids I guarantee have more resources than our Albion kids. Why wouldn’t they have more success?” This is probably one of the pieces that bothered me the most. No teacher in any school should be teaching with this attitude. Why does everyone have to point out money differences? Or why does that mean that your kids get to be more successful? I was born and raised in Albion, and went to Albion schools my whole life. I would like to think that I am just as successful as the students that graduated from Marshall in the Class of 2013.
“But they can’t know what they haven’t been taught.” I know that people cannot know what they haven’t been taught, but do not tell me that my teachers in school did not teach me anything! I worked my butt off to accomplish the things that I did in school, my GPA, getting accepted to all of the colleges that I did, BEING A PART OF THE CLASS THAT RAISED THE ACT SCORES BY TWO WHOLE POINTS FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR!
None of that would have been possible if my teachers did not teach me anything. So don’t tell me they did not do their job! In some of the classes that I have taken at Albion College so far, I have known things that my professors are talking about because of my previous teachers. Some of the students in those same classes struggled with the things that I already knew from my high school education.
“You become what people expect of you.” Are you telling me that my teachers never had any expectations for me, or the other students?! I can guarantee you that my teachers had higher expectations of me than my parents did at times! My teachers STILL have expectations for me, and I am not even in their classrooms anymore!
Yes, there may only be one Albion student in an AP course at Marshall High this year. Maybe that is because there were no classes offered at times or to students that wanted to take AP courses. I know for a fact that there are many students who are signing up for all the AP classes they can take next year. Where is that information?
"Closing a town’s high school, and busing more than 150 poor, mostly black kids to a middle-class, white school…..” Seriously, who said it was okay to say this?! Why must we always focus on color and money? Can we just say busing more than 150 ALBION STUDENTS? Instead they have to be “poor, mostly black kids.”
“Last spring, before the merger, the staging of “Happily Never After” at Albion High School involved a couple of chairs and a canvas painted like a brick wall.” Is there something wrong with putting on a small production? If I remember right this whole thing is about the students’ rights? I mean that is what everyone is saying, well I was in “Happily Never After” and we had such an awesome time putting that on. Just because it is bigger does not make it better.
“Differences extended from the dance floor to the school parking lot. Many Marshall Juniors and Seniors have their own cars, parking in the student lot on the east side of school. Most Albion students ride buses that pull up on the school’s south side – separate entrances not by color, but by income.” Again, who said this was okay? So they go in different doors, does that REALLY make a difference?! NO! Also, I know there are a lot of schools that have buses drop off at a different door than the one by the student parking lot. I am sure this helps cut down on a flood of students coming in one door. It has nothing to do with income!
Ultimately, I found the article to be very biased and it displayed a lot of details that have really hurt our community. The poor reporting displayed in "13 Miles" was uncalled for and far from the truth. I hope you will consider running another article that has been researched better and displays the truth. There should be no twisting people’s words or making them seem biased or racist, and there should be no need to say “poor, mostly black kids,” or “rich, white Marshall kids.”
They are all students who want a good education, and to make lifelong friends.
Ashlin Tabiadon was born and raised in Albion and was a member of the last graduating class from Albion High School (Class of 2013). She is finishing her first year at Albion College.
Editor’s note: Bridge’s March 25, 2014 article, “13 Miles to Marshall,” provides a detailed chronicle of the merger this school year of high school students in Marshall and Albion. The consolidation of the two schools is being closely watched as districts across the state look to save money and improve education. The views expressed in the article reflect the sentiments of the students, teachers, parents and school administrators interviewed. Those interviews were supplemented by data from state and federal sources and the two school districts.