by Clement Doucette
The morning announcements are an integral part of Hudson High School’s daily routine.
Each morning, I join seniors Elizabeth Cautela and Lauren Eadie in reading the announcement script over the loudspeaker. Typically, we improvise, tell jokes, and add humor to enliven the plain script. Still, our voices can go unheard. Some students ignore the announcements, choosing instead to talk over them.
Although there is little time for socialization during the school day, ignoring the morning announcements and our Friday Morning Lights broadcasts is a sign of disrespect. This behavior reflects a larger, school-wide problem; arts programs at HHS go ignored and students’ work goes unseen.
Elizabeth Cautela has faced this problem. In addition to the morning announcements, Cautela creates short films, spends many hours volunteering at HUD-TV, and is an active member of the HHS Drama Society. She notes that these activities are forgotten in favor of sports.
“I think the school culture is very sports oriented,” said Cautela. “It’s not really driven towards everybody else. If you’re not playing a sport, then who are you?”
Cautela noted that participating in these activities can make students feel like outsiders. Communities within HHS can be insular, and members may not branch out of their cliques.
“I’m just doing HUD-TV and theater activities now, and I feel like it doesn’t even register to some people that these are a thing,” said Cautela. “I wish people would support the arts more and go to drama shows to get another perspective on things. Everything’s not just one way. We can learn from all these other clubs.”
As an active member of the Drama Society, Cautela has been judged for her role within this group, and she senses that there is a stigma surrounding her participation. Still, she notes that by participating in the Drama Society, she is no different than other students.
“Theater is like a sport; you practice a lot, and then you perform like you do in a game,” said Cautela. “We’re all HHS students, and I think that gets lost along the line somewhere.”
The Drama Society is not the only non-sports aspect of Hudson High School that is neglected; students involved with the fine arts sense that their work is often overlooked. Ariana Jordan-MacArthur has been involved with the fine arts at Hudson High School and feels that these events are under-promoted. In her opinion, this is a result of students talking over and neglecting the morning announcements.
“I think it’s disrespectful that people talk over [the announcements], mostly because there are a lot of people who want to listen to them,” said Jordan-MacArthur. “People always talk over them, and we can’t hear them.”
Typically, events such as the HHS Art Show and Drama Society productions, are announced through the morning announcements or through sparse promotion on social media. If students ignore announcements and do not know that these events are set to occur, then fewer students will attend.
“We don’t get to hear the announcements about events going on at the school,” said Jordan-MacArthur. “This makes it a lot less likely that people will go to these events.”
I understand that changing the culture of a school is difficult, if not impossible. If students are unwilling to attend non-sports related events, they will not attend them. However, there is no room to disrespect others’ work.
Highlighting student accomplishment in the arts through social media would help. Students who are willing to attend artistic events but may not have heard about these events on the announcements would be informed about them. An integral part of learning is found in respecting and learning from the ideas and perspectives of others. Emphasizing creative and artistic pursuits in school would make artistic students feel valued and would provide all students with a platform to showcase their ideas. Keeping quiet during announcement broadcasts would help to make these ideas known to all students.