Those who get to know RHS students wouldn’t be so critical |

Those who get to know RHS students wouldn’t be so critical

As an incoming senior at Rifle High, I’ve dealt with ridicule from students in other schools for three years. I know that peer torment and rivalry is a necessary part of the high school experience, but the comments made are usually not factual or even based on personal knowledge.

During the summer, students throughout the valley are ecstatic to be free from the confines of school. In Rifle, however, complaints will be heard. Many businesses in Rifle say that the students wreak havoc during school breaks. That isn’t entirely true, but those are the only comments remembered by the valley.

Some students at Rifle are troublemakers and don’t set a good example, but every school is like that. Rifle also has students who shine academically and in other areas. If our valley focused more on those students, our image might change.

At Rifle, we have some of the best sports standings. Our players also play with heart and for the love of the game. Rifle has some of the toughest eligibility rules and teachers show no mercy for athletes. At every sporting event, Rifle’s athletes practically set the standard for sportsmanship, as do our fans. Our fans stand by the team, whether we win or lose. We don’t mock and taunt officials or opposing teams, unlike other schools. Our fans and players are united, and the bond is unshakeable.

Rifle also has amazing leadership and vocational clubs. The FBLA chapter is sending three members to Dallas. The Destination Imagination team placed in the top 10 at the global challenge. Rifle’s clubs exceed the expectations of judges, sponsors and advisors on a regular basis.

The drama department at Rifle is outstanding. “Guys and Dolls” sold out every night in the fall, and “Bus Stop” was a hit in the spring. Both productions yielded rave reviews from both community and school members.

Back in January, the variety show sold out, creating demand for a second show in April. Anyone who attended can tell you that Rifle isn’t lacking when it comes to onstage talent. The students who participate take pride in giving the audience the very best they have, proof that all of Rifle’s students put their hearts into all that they do.

Rifle students deserve much more support from the valley than is currently being given.

I strongly urge members of the valley to come witness Rifle High School firsthand during the 2003-2004 school year. I can almost guarantee that you will leave with a different image of Rifle.

Students at Rifle hold their heads high, and we are proud to be who we are and do what we do. Give Rifle a chance; don’t dismiss it just because it doesn’t lie along Highway 82. Feel free to maintain your opinion if you aren’t satisfied with what you witness. But if your image does change, then please stand up for Rifle when others badmouth us.

I leave you with this request on behalf of the student body at Rifle High School: “Don’t judge us unless you know us; don’t pretend to know us so that you may judge us on false pretenses.”

– Laura Barnes is a student at Rifle High School.

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