by Mr. Mueller, Principal
Welcome Back! Congratulations on your fine start to the '03 - '04 school year. Special welcome to the class of 2007 - our frosh! Your entry to West G. signals a new era in high school education in Ohio - the OGT (Ohio Graduation Test) era. Everyone in the school and community will be hearing more and more about State Standards and outcomes until we know these benchmarks inside and out. The future has arrived!
If you paid any attention at all to various assemblies and announcements at the beginning of this year, you should know that I ALWAYS promote a couple of very important themes - MUTUAL RESPECT and SPORTSMANSHIP. They are the topic of my first column in this year's Whirlwind.
I'll discuss Mutual Respect first because it is the first rule of social interaction. Everything we do at West Geauga will be based on civil conduct. It is absolutely unacceptable for anyone to treat another person in an unkind or indecent manner. This is not elementary school. In high school we are in a place beyond teasing and bullying. Hurtful, threatening and inappropriate behavior will be treated as harassment - which in all cases is criminal. Depending on the frequency and nature of the behavior, schools may be required to report it to local law enforcement agencies. The bottom line - think about it - is that no one has the right to treat anyone with disrespect, and no one, no one, should be subjected to insulting, intimidating or humiliating treatment. As Principal, you know that I will monitor this expectation relentlessly.
Sportsmanship - the ability to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory is a key attribute in the reputation of schools and communities. Sportsmanship reveals character. One of our most important responsibilities as a school is to foster positive character development. It's one of the reasons we offer extra-curricular activities. Behavior on the field and in the stands is an indication of the quality of character at West G.
For the last four years, we have received the OHSAA Harold A. Meyer Sportsmanship Award. This award recognizes the intentional efforts we have made to promote ethics and integrity and sportsmanship at our school. The award has been earned through the hard work of our staff, student-athletes and parent groups, each of which proudly promote our programs. They set a standard of behavior and conduct that is a model for our student body to follow.
While we want great support for all of our teams, we cannot tolerate inappropriate behavior (see MUTUAL RESPECT, above). As you attend our games and events, ask yourself why you are there. Are you there to support our teams or are you there because "everybody's there"? Are you dressing up and cheering because you truly support our teams or because you want attention? If you really support our teams, thank you - and keep it up. Don't follow the "crowd." If you attend to make fun of our opponents and to take attention away from all performing groups, you are attending for the wrong reason and may not be able to stay. Remember: treat everyone - including yourself - with respect. Our teams deserve support, respect and recognition, and to behave outrageously to take the attention they deserve is selfish and immature. It happens, and it's a reminder that we've still got work to do to help everyone reach his/her ethical potential.
Now (in the words of the West Geauga Fight Song - Do you know it? It's played after every touchdown), let's Cheer for our Blue Wolverines! Good luck to all of our teams. Thanks for all of your hard work in the classroom and on the playing fields. Our whole community supports and appreciates you!