Jenna Linden: Guest opinion |

Jenna Linden: Guest opinion

Jenna Linden
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Over the past few weeks there have been many articles written by community members expressing opinions regarding the recent “scandal” at Basalt High School. As the editor of the BHS newspaper, The Longhorn Roundup, I feel it is important that the feelings and emotions at Basalt High are shared, as well.

The past few weeks have not been easy for anyone who stepped foot into BHS. It seemed as if oppressive gray clouds loomed over our halls and classrooms. There were no local newspapers to be found at BHS because students came to school early to collect such papers and dispose of them before they could be read by students. This speaks volumes because at any high school gossip rules the halls, but after this incident our students felt a need to defend and protect our school and the student and teacher involved.

“I didn’t want everyone to be reading the stories in class and making it an awkward situation for anyone who was close to both parties,” said Carina Capobianco, a member of the BHS girls basketball team. “Coach Redfern was a big role model in my life, and even after all that has happened I still look up to her because I know that not everyone is perfect.”

Students at BHS are very sensitive about this situation and are very defensive of their school. A former student of BHS made a derogatory comment about the situation on Facebook. She was bombarded with 45 comments in defense of BHS and the student involved.

It is important that this issue does not reflect on our school as a whole or on our student body. Students feel that the actions of two people should not define the character of the 400-plus members of BHS. We have received snide comments and gestures from other schools in the valley. We ask for respect.

“We recognize that everyone makes mistakes; however, we are here to support every student no matter what the situation,” senior Dylan Ahasic said.

Basalt High School has many wonderful opportunities to offer, and many of us are currently living in fear that its attributes will be overlooked. BHS is sometimes looked down upon and labeled with a poor reputation. However, many fail to recognize the positive aspects of the school. Many seniors have been accepted into some of our country’s most prestigious universities. We have a very diverse student body and have done so much to involve the community in our school spirit over the past year.

“As a teacher I have never been involved in something so emotionally draining as what has occurred over the past few weeks at BHS,” teacher Brent Hayes said. “We as a staff have not seen students so on edge and wondering how to handle the situation. Unfortunately, comments from people who are unaware of what happened, the people involved and BHS in general have not helped the situation.

“Students and staff have great pride in their school and have taken many of these comments personally. Without a doubt the student involved, whom I have known since his freshman year, is one of the finest students at BHS. I believe I can speak for the staff when I say that our students are a positive force in our community, and we ask for your patience over the next few months.”

You may think this couldn’t happen at your school, but as we all have learned over the past few weeks, it can.

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