Another email from Mr. Mapes. Another post on the TPH Facebook page. Another assembly. Another messed-up schedule week.

In the past couple weeks we have sat through a multitude of assemblies, including the healthy relationships assembly, the consent assembly and the safe driving assembly. As an editorial board we respect the function of assemblies; however, we feel that if we are using educational time for assemblies, the message should be concise and effective. Almost four times in the past two weeks our schedule has been drastically disrupted, confusing teachers and students alike.

While we enjoyed learning about the famed pizza metaphor in Al Vernacchio’s healthy relationships assembly, we also realize that many students have already learned about this metaphor from watching his TED talks in social psychology sophomore year. Having the expert and creator of the pizza metaphor come talk to the school is a unique and educational experience, but was it worth an entirely new assembly?

We also understand the dangers of distracted driving, nearly 1 out of 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting while driving. However, having this same assembly two years in a row is repetitive and ironically creates more distracted students.

Rather than showing this assembly to each class twice in their four years of high school we propose the school look at examining another issue. Examples of future assembly topics include sleep, body image, the environment, or even discrimination and race, which is currently being worked on by a fellow student. Even if the administration decides to stick with two years of distracted driving assemblies, we feel a new angle or way of presenting should be considered.

Assemblies are important. They teach us skills and lessons beyond those that are taught in the classroom, which is even more relevant now that service learning has been cut, and they give students a break, while still being educational. It is important that the entire school, students, teachers and administrators, work together to find the right balance of brevity and impact for these assemblies. Next time, when there is another assembly, let’s make it a time well-spent.