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On March 7 Melissa Tussing, a writer for woodridge.patch.com, posted a hyperbolic article about the Metea vs. Downers Grove South game; however, she makes it very clear at the beginning that her focus was not on the loss of her alma mater (Downers Grove South), but on the “destructive behavior” of the Metea student section. She claims that the baby powder “appalled” her and could have caused an “asthma attack” and then goes on to defend DGS with her inability to gather the facts: “Was DGS completely blameless? No. I’m sure there were some worse chants I couldn’t make out.”
As opinions writers for our school newspaper, we have grown to respect all views on situations. However, we also respect the truth and getting facts straight. After reading the article about Wednesday night’s game between DGS and Metea Valley, many statements were found to be blown out of proportion.
We threw baby powder (as NBA superstar Lebron James does at every one of his games) in tradition to our white out theme. We have done it harmlessly at multiple games before. The fact of the matter is we never chanted “we have more of it.” The chant was “we have more fans” in response to the Downers Grove South student section, who provoked us with many cheers as well. “Holy Shiv” was chanted for Shiv Desai, a fan favorite.
Downers Grove South students were initially yelled at by their athletic director for yelling “nappy” at an African American player on our team, and yet, they were left undisturbed the second time. We may have played “mind games”, but we never chanted anything racist or discriminating.
Both our administrators and Principal Schmid have taught us how to act classy and win with dignity. They did their best, but with a student section of one hundred plus, not all things said could be as easily controlled as with a crowd one quarter of the size. Our administrators and principal were dispersed throughout the section itself and along the side, and many Metea students personally heard and saw other students from MVHS being reprimanded for chanting inappropriate words.
In readiness for Friday night’s game, all students were given a contract to sign prohibiting baby powder at the game, and out of respect for our principal and teachers, none will be there. We have high regards for what our adults have done for our school throughout the past three years. Our students have created a sense of unity and school spirit, and we have cheered on our high school’s underdog basketball team with class.
It is one thing to criticize teenagers, but not our administration; they are top notch and do their best to ensure we are too. Although we are disappointed with the article’s inaccuracy, as aspiring journalists, we are glad to take this as a learning experience on the importance of maintaining credibility and understanding the factual evidence before expressing judgment.