As the drought becomes a bigger issue everyday, Californians seem to be thinking more and more about water conservation and what’s causing such dramatic water dissipation. Saving water is an issue for all of us, so two other freshmen and I decided that for our “water project” in our core class with English teacher David Tarpinian and Social Studies teacher Michael Rawlins, we would design a campaign to inform people of how almonds, a crop that uses a lot of water, has effects on the drought.
After doing research, our next step was to make flyers to put up around campus with some important information on them. We polished them off and then gave them to the office to be approved, but later when we came back to get them, we found out they weren’t allowed to be put up around campus.
The whole experience was unexpected. We went into the office with the expectation that after lunch we would pick up our stack of approved flyers and put them up the following day. There wasn’t a question as to whether they would actually be approved or not until we were denied.
According to principal secretaryMary O’Leary and Assistant Principal Leah Herrera the flyers were “controversial” and the issue “doesn’t relate to Tam.” The problem of water is something that is affecting us all severely. A first step to helping save water is to boycott almonds here in California, and then put a higher tax on almond exports so that other countries don’t buy as many. We want to inform students of the issues California has and how to stop them. This shouldn’t be frowned upon by administration.
After lunch, I sat outside the AP’s office for around 15 minutes before anyone came to talk to me about our flyers. Then, Mary O’Leary came out and told me that the administration did not want them up. She mentioned their controversy, and how they did not relate to Tam. The interaction lasted probably about 30 seconds before I was sent back to class with a stack of unapproved flyers.
So let’s discuss why these flyers aren’t currently on campus. They’re controversial. Okay, so are we not allowed to have controversial thoughts and raise awareness about something that is affecting us all ? Because as far as I know, at school we should be actively thinking about the social and economic issues that are effecting us right here where we live.
If a group of students is trying to communicate their ideas and thoughts about something as big as this drought, our flyers should not be banned.
The second issue is this “not relating to Tam.” I wish I would have had more time to ask why they wouldn’t consider this relating to Tam. In a couple of years when we turn on the faucet in the bathrooms and nothing comes out, or when we walk by the now empty pool everyday, maybe we will look back and think about what more could have been done to stop this from happening. By then it will be too late.
So, administration, please tell us why you wouldn’t want your students producing a strong campaign about our water issues? Because I think we should be thinking about these issues every day. We should have reminders up on our walls that soon we won’t be able to turn on the sink, and we need to stop that as soon as we can. While almonds are sucking up California’s water, school officials are busy denying the campaign young adults are creating to help prevent the drought.


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