Setting the Record Straight for Seniors

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The Bennett recently ran a story with incorrect facts and information about the senior trip and senior dues. We apologize for the misinformation and hope this story clears things up.

The class of 2014 has been told over and over: You guys are the best senior class the school has ever had. With the highest graduation rate in the record of the school, the senior class of 2014 has more than proven themselves to be responsible young adults who deserve privileges that were denied to previous classes. However, some members of the current senior class feel that they are being penalized for the actions of prior classes.

The senior trip for this year is a day trip to Six Flags Great Adventure on June 9th, just like the year before.

“Our school is going to London next year,” says Brianna Ordonez, class of 2014. “How can they do that to underclassmen, but not even let seniors go on an overnight trip?”

Ms. Pridgen, assistant principal of guidance, responded that the decision for a day trip was made based on past history, not about being punished for things that happened on previous trips.

“Things occurred in the past that had an impact on the school community after the senior trip, and it just wasn’t fair to the students,” says Ms. Pridgen. “It wasn’t fair to the teachers when students get suspended for doing something on the senior trip and they’re not allowed to perform in their senior year. That has a tremendous impact on the school.”

Ms. Pridgen adds that it’s also a liability issue. She explains that it’s hard to get supervision for overnight trips. She says that next year’s England trip and this year’s Florida trip are both instructional and educational, plus they feature smaller groups of students.

“These are educational trips and students embrace the environment and the culture while they’re there. We wanted to have some type of trip and expose students to different traveling opportunities and that’s why we started having the international trips again,” says Ms. Pridgen.

Ms. Pridgen said that with seniors, the school wanted the senior trip to be open and available to all, which includes 176 students. “But suppose only 50 could go? So, then everyone else is going to feel really left out. When you have a $250 trip, it’s more likely that most of the seniors would go as opposed to a $3,000 trip,” she adds.

However, not everyone is dismayed about this year’s senior trip. “We’re still gonna have fun on the trip though, cause of friends,” says senior Lindi Bobb.

The question of money also comes to mind for the senior class. The senior dues for this year were priced at $220. This does not include prom or the Six Flags Trip. Ms. Hoffman, senior coordinator, explains that the $220 covers all costs for graduation and adds that these are standard high schools costs.

“It pays for your cap and gown. It pays for the things on the stage; sometimes there’s flowers, sometimes there’s balloon arrangements,” explains Ms. Hoffman. “It pays for diploma cases and the senior barbecue, where we hire people to come in and cook for us on the rooftop garden. It also includes the DJ and the invitations for graduation. It’s all of those things and it adds up for each student.”

– by Vanessa Valdez ’14

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