The Spotlight

SPIRIT Club Sets its Sights on Making SLHS a Welcoming Place for Students

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Southern Lehigh High School is right where we need to be, but is our attitude towards others changing? With almost 15,000 people in the Lehigh Valley community, some Southern Lehigh students’ use of racial slurs placed our school in the nationwide news spotlight last year.

In the 2016-2017 school year, principal Christine Siegfried lead the high school administration in creating the Spirit program after a few students shouted racial slurs and offensive terms in the hallways, and even raised their arms in a Nazi salute.

This school year, physical education teacher Mrs. Megan Kane and social studies teacher Mr. Lee Zeisloft are the Spirit Club coordinators who will work alongside assistant principal Mr. Thomas Ruhf and the student representatives of Spirit.

“We’re trying to make the school’s environment a safe and welcoming place for all students,” Mrs. Kane said. “With a lot of new students this year, we’re making sure everyone feels valued and safe along with embracing everyone’s differences here, which is our main goal in Spirit.”

“I think it’s important that all the students’ needs are met and they feel safe. They should feel like that they can come into school and be themselves, express themselves, and whatever we can do as a school to promote that kind of culture and climate,” Mrs. Kane added. “I want to be part of that movement.”

Junior Alex Becker, a student representative of the Spirit program, had good reason for wanting to be a part of Spirit.

“Well I came here as a new student my freshman year. I was lucky enough to have a couple of friends already, [so] I kinda jumped in and I was welcomed, but I know most kids aren’t,” he said. “Our school has a lot of potentials, so I feel if we can fixing those little problems will make it a lot better and joining spirit really help.”

Becker added that the club has started a Humans of Southern Lehigh Instagram account, inspired by Humans of New York, to help students at our school learn more about each other.

Junior Kiley Schlosser, another student representative of the Spirit program, feels the Spirit Club hasn’t achieved its full effect yet.

“”Some of the conversations, some of the different issues that happened last year, they still happen this year,” she said. “I see it with my own eyes and hear it with my own ears all the time, [and] I can’t personally stop it but I’m hoping it will change.”

Schlosser has enjoyed joining Spirit this year and cannot wait to help other students.

“I really want to help stop a lot of the discrimination especially towards new kids and anyone of a different race, different beliefs,” she said. “I hope since I’m in here I can put my 110% into stopping all the negativity here at Southern Lehigh.”

Schlosser recommends this club to others because it’s a new way for students to voice their opinions every day and be part of something great.

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About the Writer
Amanda Simko, Staff Reporter

Sophomore Amanda Simko is a first-year staff reporter for the Spotlight. Outside of the newspaper, she is involved in clubs such as FCCLA and SADD. She...

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SPIRIT Club Sets its Sights on Making SLHS a Welcoming Place for Students