Mishandling local current events within ASD


Photo by Aja Schiller

The counselors offices during a rare occasion when there’s not students waiting outside.

Recent events at Aspen High School have left the student body reeling with gossip and rumors about multiple incidents involving students. There has been an ongoing sexual assault court case with students in our valley, along with a car crash that was covered in the Aspen newspapers, yet not spoken about at AHS. Teachers have been told to direct students to the counselors whenever these issues come up in class as students may have experienced similar situations. AHS teachers are not professionally trained to handle a classroom full of students talking about possibly traumatic experiences, leading students to visit the counselors instead.

However, students are directed to the counselors and half of time, they’re nowhere to be found due to their busy schedules. Students experiencing problems or impending mental health issues can’t find them, making it exponentially more difficult for students with questions about these events to talk with the counselors. Kids have to plan a mental breakdown a week in advance. This inaccessibility only leads to more quiet gossip in the hallways and false information being spread.

This creates a lot of subtle anger directed toward the administration. Many students feel that the faculty hasn’t dealt with these issues properly and instead have let rumors spread.

There is a multitude of different solutions that the school could take, such as holding an assembly to raise awareness about sexual assault, emphasizing the importance of safe driving-  especially when the roads are icy, or just talking with the student body to dispel some of the gossip and/or controversy.

In any class that discusses current events, students have seen an increase in the #MeToo movement that took over social media for a few months. Kids are well versed in car crashes, sexual assault, and any other issue that could potentially happen because they’ve already learned about it in class. Although there are legal issues the school has to tip-toe around, the laws don’t prevent AHS from discussing important issues in the valley. Teachers also have to remain sensitive when talking about these events because they may trigger another student in the class who might’ve had a similar experience.

It’s understandable for teachers and faculty to try to keep the court case and car crash less popularized among the student body especially to protect the students who were directly involved in these events. The expectation is not for teachers to hold a Socratic discussion on the matter, but more education on local current events is needed to avoid false information, gossip, and confusion.