By Rye Spooner
What is d.tech congress? It’s an experimental project in Mr. Wilgus’ 11th grade history class and goes by the name D.mocracy. The point of it was to have elected leaders from each class, come together and help run the new history class. There were plans for a president and a Supreme Court, and even talks of a class-run economy. Most of the process has been shrouded in confusion. No one really knows who’s elected, or what they are do once they are elected.
Passions boiled over on Friday, April 28th, when an email from an anonymous source was sent to a portion of the junior class. Its author voiced their concerns about new legislation that was passed. The unedited email reads:
“Good Afternoon d.techers!
I just wanted to let out a little rant, about the attitudes fostered in this school. Please read this. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I just want people to hear mine. Recently, in a d.tech government simulation, the Congress just passed a law stating that they would get payed in the currency, for doing what they volunteered to do. What’s more, is this is connected to our grades. Do they have no empathy for our grades? This ties in a bit with some attitudes I have seen in this school. Quotes such as:
“As long as it doesn’t affect me.”
“At least it is not happening to me.”
“Why should I care?”
For a school that tries to foster an environment of nurturing, and care, this deeply upsets me. I would even go so far to compare the attitudes of many students here as to “young Trumps.” Sometimes, I only see a carbon copy of High School the Musical, with the separated cliques, over optimistic views of the world, and the aggression towards different views. This is the only school of which I attended, where people have “panic attacks” over opposing views. Over normal stress. I know students who live in everyday peril, walk many miles, just to go to school. Yet these kids do not have anxiety. These kids do not have “panic attacks”. These kids pursue education, and look to the future, while dealing with reality.
Activism in this school has been a bit of a joke, save for a couple of instances. People here create art, and say, they believe in human equality. Yet, when the protest against the election of Trump was held, who went? How many people, out of these so called activists went? We seem to be focusing on certain issues, which is good, however we alienate other issues at hand, in favor of making some students feel good. During African-American History Month, was there any mentions in the school about it? It passed in silence, unheard of, uncared for.
I originally came to this school, in search of a place to be myself, yet the environment here is no different from any other school. It might even be a bit worse since the state school system has less control over this school, compared to a public school. Not everyone here is like this, but many of us choose to be bystanders. I myself have chosen to be a bystander in the past. I refuse to silence myself, and keep these feelings within. This school has the potential to give back to the world in great ways, yet has used this to cater towards a certain type of students. I truly hope you read this, and at least give some weight to my words. At least try to see through my eyes, at least try to feel as I feel. I write with emotion, and sadness for the school that should have been.
-A d.tech Student”
While group rant-like emails are an ever growing phenomenon at d.tech, this one has caused quite the stir among the juniors.
The inspiration for this email, was that d.tech congress members are now being payed 1000 “wilgubucks” (the term for the class currency) a week for their service. As the writer states, some students aren’t pleased with this. Curiously, the writer seems to be more informed about the topic than most students and staff. The student’s knowledge of the process has raised questions about his or her identity, and accusations about who wrote it have been multiplying in the email’s reply thread. While the email’s author was probably hoping for a serious discussion of the topic, most students have responded flippantly.
As of now, there has not been a response from the original sender.
After this story was published we were contacted by congress member Katie Toye with a clarification: the bill that is mentioned in the email was actually repealed yesterday.
The repeal was proposed by David Boles in a email below:
I believe that this law was too hastily passed without due consideration to the following:
- Inflation of the economy
- Influence on how grading will work (the proccess for grade determination should be figured out first)
- Fairness as compared to the median income
- Payments for other government offices, employees, and contractors.
For those reasons I move the the implementation of the law be delayed so that it can be first repealed and replaced with a new version that fully addresses these potential concerns.
David B, Representative of the Great State of Delta
It is unclear if the writer of the email was aware of this information or not.
Photograph by Rye Spooner