OUR VIEWS: Music trip is too ambitious

Oct 25, 2012

It’s a time when memories and experiences help shape our young people’s future. It’s a time when kids should be kids, and not be saddled with the financial pressures they will be faced with in their adult years. There is plenty of time for that later.

Studies are a large part of the experience, but there is so much more — athletics, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, relationships and getting your first car, just to name a few.

Many schools even provide students with the “opportunity of a lifetime” to participate in a school-sanctioned trip, oftentimes costing thousands of dollars. For example, the Grand Haven High School Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra are planning an ambitious trip that would take them to Carnegie Hall in New York City, then across Europe.

The projected cost? More than $3,000 per student.

We agree that this would be the trip of a lifetime — but on the other hand, it puts an undue burden on students and their parents to raise the necessary funds to participate. You’re not going to raise that kind of money collecting pop cans and washing cars. Even the most ambitious of fundraising efforts are sure to leave families scrambling to cover half the cost of the trip.

For those who aren’t able to come up with the necessary funding, what impact does it have on them, and how is that perceived among their peers whose families do have the means to support such a trip?

We feel that the harm it can cause would be significant.

There is a tremendous amount of pressure on parents to provide for their children, and this just adds to it.

Every parent wants to give their child every opportunity possible. But at a time when providing the basic needs seems insurmountable for some, we feel the additional pressures caused by these activities is unnecessary.

We applaud the leaders of our youth for teaching our children the concept of reaching for the stars, but we also suggest that we keep things in perspective and operate within realistic means.

A trip to Europe is a tremendous goal. But if it turns out to be too pricy, and fundraising efforts come up short, then perhaps a scaled-down trip would be more appropriate.
We’re sure those who can’t afford a trip across the Atlantic would greatly appreciate a chance to join their classmates and friends on a trip to Carnegie Hall that would certainly be remembered for a lifetime, without having to break the bank to get there.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

anonanon

Excuse me, but one of my family members tired for years to actually get people to understand what she did to them, but it never did a single thing. So, before you even talk about that you need to actually sit back and think about how many other people this happened to.

Megan MacLeod

If SSSSSOOOOO many people feel this way, like you're suggesting, I'm pretty sure they would say something.

anonanon

You know that earlier comments had been said, but you have been over looking. Look at anon, and around her comments, because there are plenty of people who have.

Megan MacLeod

Okay. So if all these people have been hurt by Mrs. Lemon, why haven't they stepped forward to say anything? I'm pretty sure a student's well-being is more important than their relationship with a teacher.

anonanon

Why have they not said anything, umm let me see. Parents would not allow them to continue choir anymore duh. Wow, does not take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

Megan MacLeod

Wow. It'd take a pretty dimwitted parent to let their child continue a class where they felt they were being bullied.

anonanon

Speaking from a child who is to dimwitted to see it herself.

Megan MacLeod

I'm dimwitted because the stuff I'm saying is making sense? You don't have anything to really fight back about, so you go for personal attacks instead? Yeah, that makes sense.

sonkerone

Parents and students have tried to do something regarding Mrs Lemon's behavior towards her students in the past but it is always a challenge to be heard. Parents have gone to administration in past years but somehow it has never been addressed properly with Mrs Lemon. Parents have tried to reason with her and try to show examples of how she may be going to far, as well as students who have tried to stand up for themselves but somehow always get shut down. If you take the time to read this post you can not deny that their is pattern of the same concerns from many people. I agree with you that Mrs Lemon is a great teacher that should not be denied I think she truly feels that her way is the best way for her students, however that is the problem the stubbornness of only her way is what has created this mess.

opinionscount

What happened to a day trip to attend a choir competition or to hear a great community organized choir perform? Schools are out of hand with all the trips and added $$$$$ that is needed for the kids to keep up with the Joneses. It is ridiculous. While it may be a trip of a lifetime, it's not free and not a reachable sum for many. Delayed gratification in life is a good thing. If our kids take a "trip of a lifetime" before their adult lifetime begins, they're going to be left quite disappointed in the realities of adulthood.

Lyla

exactly. well said

sonkerone

After reading what has been written I really have some things I feel need to be added here. First off I think that this is very unfortunate and has gotten extremely out of controll. But why has it gotten out of controll? Because there are facts that need to be addressed regarding how Mrs Lemon does treat her students obviously for many years, and I think, unfourtnatly, the Europe Trip has started this.
If you really read these comments and really pay attention to what the students are saying you can clearly see that there are issues with how Mrs Lemon does run her program. How can this be denied? As someone who has seen this first hand and has heard it from numerous students and parents I think it would just be nice for Mrs Lemon to take a step back slow down and really reflect on exactly what these people are saying. Possibly be able to say ok you know maybe I have acted this way at times, maybe I have gone too far on how I approach a student, maybe I have pushed more than I should.
For those of you defending Mrs Lemon can you honestly say that you have never witnessed her doing the things people are saying? Making a student feel badly about something possiblily out of their controll in front of their peers? Think about it...really!!!????
Although I do feel that what Mrs Lemon has accomplised in her program is amazing and with much dedication for the students and the program but at whos cost?
I agree that it is unacceptable to put the students in a uncomfortable situation infront of their peers and I think it would be wonderful if Mrs. Lemon could acknowledge that has been done and say I am sorry and realize the importance of treating others with the same respect she is asking for now as tables have turned and she is put in the spotlight of negative words.

Myrtle Lemon

While I respect your opinion, again I feel as though I need to clear up things that are being said. Respect is always something that is upheld in the classroom and Mrs. Lemon always has the utmost respect for everyone, even when she doesn't receive it herself. These attacks are unnecessary and downright untrue. The people who are anonymously spreading lies are the minority.

anonanon

You are not listening Myrtle because that person already said she has seen this first hand. You are obviously biased because you are her daughter and get the things you want. Showing how you are on during class period and during the school day. You do not get any of the guilt trips because you are her daughter so how would you know about anything that actually happens.

appleorchard

Okay, things are getting out of hand. The negative comments and personal attacks are wrong. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and no one should force others to see things as they do. Also I know the school's schedule, and Myrtle's comments are not being posted during class- they are being posted during passing time and lunch (class times changed this year). But seriously, enough of the negativity- all you are doing is becoming a hypocrite by making those going feel guilty. Don't say that you are against guilt trips when what you are doing is trying to guilt trip Myrtle, Meagan, and other's who have posted their opinion. I personally don't completely agree with the trip, but I'm not going force others to be on my side.

anonanon

At 1:40 p.m 5th hour has started and the students are to respond to role call, otherwise they are marked absent.

appleorchard

Okay fine, I'm sorry I got my facts wrong, you are an "all knowing" person, happy now? All you've done is ruined some people's night with your negative comments! Like I said, I personally don't agree with this trip BUT the people who are going are excited about it and have a right to be. Whatever happened to music kids being a united front? We may have our disagreements but that is no reason to rip people apart. I can't believe you were someone I graduated with, the kid's I knew would never say things like this.

proudparent3

And you graduated when, last year? Nice try. The times are still the same. For you to call someone all knowing when they indeed have friends in high school and actually know is rude. In that said unless you really know what is going on keep your nose out of it. It is wrong for her to be treated like sue can do what she wants and be on during school hours because her mom is a teacher. What's worse, its wrong for her and her mom to exploit everyone else for their last big hoorah. Get over yourselves both of you.

appleorchard

Yes I did graduate last year, and NO, the times are not the same. I still have many friends in this high school and the times are not the same as last year. This conversation did NOT involve you, it involved me and a former classmate, so it is rude of you to intrude on our conversation in the first pace. I'm sorry I am trying to stand up for people who are being bombarded and bullied on this web site. I thought I had the times right but apparently I did not, I made a mistake, I'm sorry. So no, I do not condone being on the internet during class. I never said that it was okay for her to be on her phone during class, I simply thought that she was on it while class was not in session. I don't care what you or anyone else thinks, I love the music program. I personally don't agree with the trip but I don't think it is right for people to come on here and personally attack those high school students who are going. Nothing is going to change what is already in motion. Everyone has their own opinions and that is their right, but an opinion is just that, and people shouldn't be trying to force others to view the world as they view it.

Student

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J4ckanddab34nst4lk

Hey dudes. My name is Jack, and as you can see by my name, I am chamber choir's most glorious second bass, obviously. Just thought I'd comment. However, before I do, I'd like to let everyone know I am not going on this trip, as I have chosen to take a class that interfered with the choir. So before one of you tries to group me in with all the (what some of you are calling 'mindless', which is false) choir kids, I'd advise against that. Anyways brohams, I don't really understand what is up with all the negative comments! If you want to get your point across, ad hominem attacks are most certainly not the way to do it! On top of that, posting at the bottom of a local newspapers online website will change absolutely nothing, so I really have zero idea why this has gotten so heated. If any of really feel this strongly, go bring it up to the principal of GHHS, the superintendent, or Mrs. Lemon herself (However, I think most of you don't have the gonads to do it).I am really impartial to whether or not my class mates go on the trip or not. I won't lie to you, as there is nothing to gain for myself, by saying that I have never seen one guilt trip by Mrs. Lemon - and I'd tell you if I had seen it. As you can see, I most certainly was never pressured into this trip, or else I would be going. The only conversation Mrs. Lemon and I had about it was 'Are you sure?' I answered yes, and that was that. Anyone complaining of being forced into this strip is lying, and any claims of someone else being forced into this trip are bunk.The only criticism I have of this trip is the transparency. If everyone in this town knew every single detail about anything of this trip, I would bet that this whole everything wouldn't of happened. Too Long;Didn't Read - Many babies in this comment section, your attacks on Mrs. Lemon are false, More transparency would be nice on the choir's part, commenting here changes absolutely nothing.

Thanks for reading buckaroos!

anonanon

Sorry, but the babies are the ones who can not see the lies being fed. These grown-ups on here that are parents know what is going on, and you know that we actually think for ourselves and have family members who have had this happen to them. Some of our family members majorly supported the music programs, but once this has started happening with guilt tripping students We do not believe in supporting the biggest bully in the high school. Also, we have all read both of the sides, but hey if you are that biased to actually not see what is happening then that is not our fault. There are better things this money can be used for like the students college education and still give them a great trip.

CHUCK the famou...

Mr glorious bass is in two choir classes a day. He sees what is going on firsthand, and he just told everyone the absolite truth.

anonanon

That is not the truth sorry to tell you. What happens during the lunch periods, between classes, and after school. Until you can report all of that for an entire year, you really do not know the truth. Family members of mine have hd these guilt trips, and also other parents and students have heard these. Only the gulible people, or the biased people do not see everything or even had issues. You guys do know that only the suck ups and the favoritized people are only allowed in to Chamber right? There are people with a lot more talents that are left out because they might not be able to report to everything because of broken down cars, being sick, having weddings, and have family members in the hospital. You do not know all the truth about how everyone is treated so stop trying to act like god.

J4ckanddab34nst4lk

anonanon, go ahead and read the reply I sent you above. Regarding that suck ups and Favorited people get into chamber choir? What in the blazing saddles is your problem? All men, regardless of skill, that are in 11th or 12th grade get into chamber automatically, and women hold tryouts. I assure you, I know plenty of women in chamber who are NOT suck ups, and have still made it. Maybe it has something to do with skill?. Do you happen to have a daughter that didn't make it into chamber? Is that why you are just spewing this trash everywhere on this comment section? I'd really like to know more about you! And you mention people not being included because of personal issues? Oh please. I have witnessed first hand people having tragedies pop up in their life, broken down cars, personal things, etc. and they are treated fine - there's no anger or yelling or 'guilt trips'. Mrs. Lemon understands things come up! And as long as she gets some sort of call in advance (like weddings, etc, excluding deaths in the families, sickness, cars breaking down) then it is fine.

anonanon

First of all, I do not have a child, Second, have you ever heard what she has done to students who drop from the "program" the year before. Plenty of people have had her guilt tripping and unless you actually listen to the comments from a couple of days ago you are then really naive. Have you read what these students are going through or do you just not care about the people who have this happen?

J4ckanddab34nst4lk

Dropped the year before what? Well, I actually quit Chorale after 9th grade (rejoined last year, and now this year I am a senior) and not once was I ever lambasted about my choice. I really have no idea where you are getting this from.

J4ckanddab34nst4lk

Then do something about it. Otherwise, stop hiding behind your name and stop commenting. You keep mentioning all this bullshit of how she has guilt tripped people, and bullied people and all this useless banter, but I have not heard one specific example of anything. If you want to defame someones character without any sort of example or proof, feel free - but do it in the quiet of your home. What is Mrs. Lemon going to do if you say your name, or give a specific example? Hunt you down? Don't be naive - it honestly sounds like cowardice to me! Stop fear mongering people - like I haven't had enough of that watching all these political adds on T.V. and on the radio. As an aside, You can call me biased all you'd damn well please (as everyone is a little, or a lot, bias) but I find myself to be the most critical of any of my peers on this whole trip idea. I would, and have, criticized aspects of this trip; but nothing is perfect. But if you believe there are better things to do with the money that may be spent on going to New York/ Europe, then, like I had said, do something about it, and again, like I had said, insulting people and bullying kids that come here is most certainly not the way to work things out. But from my understanding of people like yourself, is that they are too weak minded a person to actually confront someone in opposition of them face to face. I can do this all day bud. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way sticking up for either side, as I am impartial, but when something as hurtful, unbased and most certainly uncalled for as what you and others have been saying, someone needs to speak up. I wish you a good evening sir/madam.

anonanon

How dimwitted are you. Have you actually read what these parents and students have said. I have plenty of people who have all had this happend, and you know why they are not coming out? Because of people like you who only read/hear what they want to and believe in. Have you ever thought that if this was brought up at a school board meeting what actually would happen? These students who actually have had this happen to them are so scared that if they post anything up here their "peers" who do not seem like great people posting on here, would think of them? Sorry, but students nowadays want to blow these things off because it hurts them to remember it. Last year a person, who shall not be named or spoken of, was told in Lemon's office because she was sick and pregnant, was told, "either get voice lessons, or do not sing." As a previous student who graduated from the school and a orchestra student, the only thing I heard was getting private lessons in order to do simple things. There are people who have honor and actually could out sing you whom will not join choir because of that.

J4ckanddab34nst4lk

You talk of these things like everyone knows about them. Now, I'd like to bring up this girl in choir who happened to be pregnant. I knew a few girls who had become pregnant while in choir last year, and I didn't hear anything of the sort. I'm sorry, but I just can't take what your saying for truth if there is no actual substance to it. But since you are a graduated orchestral member, keyword graduated, do you mind giving me your name, so we may be able to continue this conversation more efficiently? Hell, I'm all for getting the word out of such transgressions you have stated (if they even happened), because I have absolutely nothing to lose, but you gotta give me some substance here. I could make up some random trash on the spot right now to slander Mrs. Lemon and not even sweat about it. You understand me? And I'm sure there are people who could 'out sing me' But I had no idea this was a contest. If you think my user name is an actual serious attempt to let everyone know how much I rock, you are mistaken. But I'll change it to just my name so you don't get offended and start slandering me, ok?

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