Letter to the Editor: Every Student Deserves Applause

By Leslie Esquibel
Los Alamos
I went to the Middle School Athletic Awards Ceremony the other day. I was uncomfortable going, expecting the same awkward ceremony as last year.
I got what I expected, and worse. There was the usual announcing of each team, their story for the year, and announcement of each athlete, 270+ at the school. This was preceeded by a slide show of some of the athletes and new football field and track.
What was the saddest, most awkward part, was the audience reaction. About 10 percent of the kids received significant applause from peers and families. Another 20 percent were applauded by their individual teams.
The rest of the kids received a smattering of applause or none at all. I expect this from the kids. After all, if you applaud for the “wrong person,” you will be glared at by the popular kids.
What I am shocked at and saddened by are the parents and families – good people that I know in this community, who care for these kids. They cheered loudly for their own kids, and the popular kids, then sat on their hands while the rest were shown on the screen or paraded across the stage in glaring silence.
No wonder we have such a morale problem among the kids in this community. What an apalling lack of character was shown by those who couldn’t even provide “polite applause” for those kids who haven’t been blessed with a supportive family and/or the approval of their peers.
I remember the same reaction at the high school graduation ceremonies I have attended here in the past. Come on, people! Can’t we as least applaud for the accomplishments of all of these young people? Aren’t they all at least worth that much effort?

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