High expectations led to let downs

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Maria Maraldo '21, Staff writer

Every year around Christmas time, I would come to South’s main gym to perform in the annual Strings Extravaganza. At the time, this high school seemed like a magical place- a Hogwarts-like structure with a buzzing atmosphere, topped off with an untouchable student body. The building itself appeared to be alive and have a personality of its own: that is, I thought so before I actually became a student here. While Grosse Pointe itself holds its own in terms of the affluent reputation our community has been given by others, we lack in every other realm of humility besides a strong sense of community; especially Grosse Pointe South.
My preconceived notions of what going to school at South would be like were quickly shattered during my Freshman year, when less than a fourth of our student body decided to attend a March for Our Lives walkout in support of Majory Stoneman Douglass. Or during my Sophomore year when a video of two South students screaming racial slurs was released, went viral on many platforms, and the students in the video faced nothing but a slap on the wrist from our administration. Or during my Junior year when a close friend and classmate of many at both North and South committed suicide, and the South administration decided to not just stay silent, but silence the grieving of their students despite their many claims of “supprting mental heatlh” and even having a “mental health week”, which was clearly all performative.
These instances being said, I do believe the modern student body that encompasses South is strong and progressive, and it has clear intentions to move forward from the stains of our previous (and current) student body’s errors- from SEEDS to the Black Student Union, outward efforts of change have never been more prominent within the walls of our school.
Despite the experiences I have just spoken about, I have been positively impacted by many teachers I have had the honor of having throughout these past four years. I would like to thank Mr. Gross for keeping the spirit of music alive during the trying times of COVID and showing your students that nothing is impossible as long as you put in the work, and Mrs. Lulis for showing me that as women, we are capable of anything we believe we can do and must lead the next generation of girls to believe in themselves.