Why would we expect otherwise?
"We live in the middle of the desert," Smith said. "There's no reason not to carry water everywhere."
That sentiment carries a grain of wisdom: I always had a couple gallons in the car, along with some antifreeze. Just in case, you know?
But I know that campus very well. I know where all four of the drinking fountains (that students have access to) are. And there are others in the (separate) gym building. And "up" at the elementary. However,
"That water is disgusting," high school junior Stephanie Van Sluis said. "I can't stand it."
I know which fountain she's talking about. She's exaggerating, though probably not by Dasani's standards. The water from the fountain by the front door, though, is excellent. And it's less than twenty steps from the one she's more likely talking about. Of course, I had access to the kitchen (shhhh - don't tell the health inspectors) where I could and did get ice so the water would actually be cold, but still...
Then in this editorial that Thursday, the paper asks,
Why have these Indian Springs students, their parents and administrators allowed so much time to be wasted on an issue irrelevant to education?
I'll get back to that question in a second, but a cynical reader answered in part when he said they "got their 15 minutes of fame."
So in that sense (again, just assuming the legitimacy of the question), the R-J itself, by covering it, encouraged the very wasting of time it turns around and disparages in its editorial. Sort of like bloggers who expose things so they can make fun of them...
(Really - how many of you knew Las Vegas even had a newspaper (or schools, for that matter?)?) (And for the record, 'Vegas has two newspapers" the Review-Journal and the Sun.)
Now, in fairness to the R-J, they also covered the actions of students at the school when the senior class voted to give to Katrina charities the funds they had accumulated for their senior class trip (story here).
But I think what got lost in all of this is that these kids are high-school juniors. They're studying American history. They know that this is a nation founded on protest. They've heard of the Boston Tea Party. They've heard of Carrie Nation and Sojourner Truth. They've heard of Kent State and sit-ins. Should we blame them if they want to see if it still works, even if on a smaller scale and over an arguably less significant issue? The question posed by the R-J implies that "education" is reading and math - the NCLB stuff, the stuff that's proficiency-tested, the stuff that effects AYP.
Obviously, I think there's more to education than that. I think part of my education was learning that if we (students) all got together and approached things right, we could get the dress code changed so that we could wear Levis (they have the rivets on the "wear-points" - the custodians didn't like having to refinish the wooden chairs that the rivets scratched). Was it inconsequential in the grand scheme of things? Probably. Other kids in bigger cities were protesting the war.
And today, other students, in bigger schools, are walking out of school to join in protesting immigration-control efforts. It's all part of the education process, and I'm not at all sure we should be poking fun at kids who apply what they're learning to their day-to-day lives. Even if it's just bottled water.