North Eugene students share their ideas for the old high school site. At the June 7 school board meeting, Student Representative Parker Anderson.
Parker Anderson (NEHS): Hi, my name is Parker Anderson and I’m the student representative for North Eugene High School. These past few weeks, we’ve definitely had a lot of stress due to finals, especially this week as they’ve begun to take place.
[00:00:20] Our seniors had their ‘Senior Stroll’ today, which is where graduating seniors have the opportunity to go back to their elementary school, walk through in their graduation outfits, talking to their old teachers, and spending some time reminiscing.
[00:00:32] Overall, everything’s definitely starting to have that end-of-year feeling. But despite that, there’s still some important things to talk about. A few weeks ago, the board voted to raze the current North Eugene High School building. In lieu of that, it felt left up in the air to what will happen to that space once the building is gone.
[00:00:50] I was able to talk to current students in North Eugene High School and discuss some of the options that have been brought up in the community and ask for their feedback, on what they thought should happen.
[00:01:00] The vast majority of students gravitated towards either the proposed idea of the more field space, as currently sports teams have an unideal amount of space for the amount of programs we have, or the idea of having the Yujin Gakuen Elementary School move to the site with the construction of the new elementary school.
[00:01:18] There are a few other suggestions such as the community park or swimming facility. But by far the most common question ended up being: Why can’t we build a new elementary school and construct a sports field?
[00:01:31] One student said, ‘North isn’t a small school and there’s still quite a space around it. Why can’t there be a part of it, to build a new elementary school and have a field next to it?’
[00:01:40] But in terms of numbers, out of 121 students I had the opportunity to speak to, 75 students talked about liking the idea of an elementary school and supporting Y-G in a return to an area close to their previous location, while 42 students support a new sports field, and four supported or suggested other options.
[00:02:00] I ask that when you’re making your decision, you take into consideration the questions of students and their feedback.
[00:02:06] I’d also like to raise another question that’s been raised on multiple students over the past two weeks, which is the fate of some of the memorial structures and the totem pole that reside at North Eugene High School. Students are asking that whatever’s possible, these things not be demolished with the school and move to the new building.
[00:02:23] And finally there was the Second Annual Pride Festival put on by a few different 4J schools’ GSAs, and held on the North Eugene High School football field last Friday.
[00:02:33] It was funded through fundraising efforts done through the GSA by community donations. The event was wonderful with crafts, food and a few local vendors that had booths. A performance from the Eugene Gay Men’s Chorus and a drag show with professional drag queens and student volunteers. There were a few of all ages in attendance and everyone who went had an amazing time.
[00:02:55] I was happy to see some of our board members there, and I’m excited for the event to be able to continue in the future. While the event was wonderful inside, outside the event, we did have a group of about a dozen protestors from an out-of-state church that stood outside the school property shouting religious passages at students attending the event.
[00:03:12] The protestors also walked onto school property to hand out flyers to people in line for the event. The flyers looked supportive on the outside, then inside had some very hateful speech and certain graphic imagery, which I’ve emailed pictures, I believe, to the board, for context. It definitely felt like an inappropriate thing to present to children who are trying to come together as a community and support each other.
[00:03:35] We are though grateful for the community members and staff who supported the event and are thankful for the support the board has shown thus far and ask for continued support from both this board and future board. Thank you.
[00:03:46] John Q: In the North Eugene report, students favor two options for their old school site, and ask after the memorials and totem pole.