Northwest Horizons

Weeping “weeples”: Seniors mourn being the last We the People class

Shalini Sharma, editor in chief

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Due to an unfunded mandate by the North Carolina General Assembly reverberating down to the high school level, several Northwest classes are being cut next year, from speech and debate to lab sciences. The budget for sports has been reduced significantly, and according to Principal Ralph Kitley, the school will be losing four to five teaching positions.

For some students, however, the most upsetting news they have received was that We the People, a popular elective that studies the U.S. Constitution, will no longer be available after 22 years at Northwest. There are some who have been waiting since their freshman year to take the class, as senior Savannah Newton did.

“Saying that I’m a part of the last We the People class ever still astonishes me,” Newton said. “It breaks my heart to know that no one will get to experience [the class] in the future because it was so eye-opening for me and truly was one of my favorite high school experiences. It always will be.”

Essentially, in the class, students discuss controversial topics, break into six different groups—or units—that focus on different parts of the government and write papers for their respective unit to present at competitions.

Students have enjoyed being a part of the We the People legacy while it has lasted and being known as a “weeple” around school. But most of all, they have enjoyed having social studies teacher Ray Parrish as their coach.

“[Mr. Parrish] has enlightened all of us with his plethora of knowledge and encourages each one of us to take the class beyond high school and beyond the grade so that we were able to truly focus on the purpose of We the People: ‘pursuing truth in the company of friends,’” Newton said.

At states this year, the team lost to Raleigh Charter High School by three points and were unable to compete at nationals, but they still went to D.C. May 13-16—the last We the People trip ever.

“I’ve been to D.C. a couple of times, but I had never been to the Holocaust museum,” senior Michael Benson said. “It was a really special experience to see the trials that the Jewish people went through and to go through the museum with a group of people that really care about history.”

Though it was bittersweet, Parrish believes the trip was a good way to end the year and the class. However, he is still trying to remain hopeful that the class will return one day.

“Not having We the People next year will be a big change in my life,” Parrish said. “It is very possible that it could come back, and it’s very possible that it might not. At this point, I’m sort of lost.”


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Weeping “weeples”: Seniors mourn being the last We the People class