The recent article on the firing of the PHS athletic secretary was so rife with mistakes and biases that I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, I am a senior at Payson High School. I have spent over three years on the campus and can attest to the morale and policy changes far better than any Roundup reporter can. Quoting Ms. Shields on the subject was irresponsible journalism, considering how bitter she can be expected to be. Quoting Mr. Sandoval on what’s happening at the school right now was positively asinine.
I literally laughed out loud when I read what was said about past vs. present discipline. Never have I seen something so backwards and contrary to the truth published as fact in a public newspaper! To begin with, the campus nickname of “Auschwitz” is in reference to the closed campus, a policy not enacted by current administration. Secondly, we students have been able to get away with almost anything in the past. If there’s any bad morale on campus right now, it’s the backlash of kids now being held accountable. It will take time to retrain the kids and change the campus culture, but it’s one of many necessary changes.
I don’t know Mrs. Ketchem well enough to issue judgment, but I do know that one would have to be blind to not see that Mrs. Van Zile is doing what’s best for the school and the students she so deeply cares about. Just seeing how hard she works on a daily basis tells me that things will improve. Last year, I didn’t see the administration in any of my classes a single time; this year, Mrs. Van Zile has come into class at least twice a day. She is involved.
Our new administration is making a lot of changes, it’s true, but changes needed to be made to turn the school around. If a new secretarial staff was one of the changes deemed necessary, then Mrs. Ketchem has that right. This shouldn’t be twisted into a political issue that turns Sandoval’s supporters and critics against each other. This is an issue of what is best for the school, and ought to be viewed as such.
The Roundup has a responsibility to report the facts and not add their own twists in an attempt to sway opinions; in this instance, it failed miserably.