School Assembly Misses the Mark

Tone of the assembly didn't match tone of topic

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Monday, October 21, the students of Fargo North High had an assembly in the Spartandome to inform students about suicide awareness, depression, and anxiety among teens. This presentation opened with a video including several North students and students from other schools, followed by a police officer named Mr.Bloom. Officer Bloom has been in the Fargo area for a while and when presented the opportunity to speak in front of the students of theFargo Public School District, he jumped at the chance. Alongside this officer were two dancers, a singer / songwriter, and the First Lady of North Dakota, Kathryn Burgum. Everyone was there to spread a positive message to the kids of the school district that you aren’t alone, everyone goes through hardships and everyone knows the feeling of being alone, so you will always have someone to turn to, regardless of the circumstances. But was all of that assembly necessary to get that very important point across?
These same performers, minus the singer and the First Lady, were here last year and did the exact same routine. While they spoke of a different topic last year, all the chants, activities, crowd dances, songs, were the same. It really felt like a waste of time for me and some kids just plain didn’t take it seriously enough to pay attention. A lot of kids felt this was a joke of an assembly because of the dancers and the way that Officer Bloom was talking, it just didn’t feel like it was serious enough to suit the issue. Suicide and depression is a very serious issue and is to be taken care of as soon as it is presented. These performers were having the audience dancing, cheering, singing, laughing, and happy, but when it got to the point where the audience needed to stop talking to listen to the other speakers/performers, they wouldn’t, and it really took away from the point of the whole assembly to begin with.
There was a singer songwriter there who has had hardships throughout her life that she needed to overcome in order to get to where she was at in her life. She had done that through hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude. I understood it, but that’s because I was listening. The rest of the audience was talking, laughing, and doing their own thing in the middle of her talking, and in the middle of her singing, which is totally disrespectful. I couldn’t help but feel bad for her, but it isn’t entirely the students’ fault that they couldn’t pay any decent attention. The performers previously had gotten them riled up and it didn’t seem like they were able to calm them back down.
Not only were the students already fed up with the assembly because it was the same performers as last year, but they also just didn’t care to listen to a very important message that was being spoken through the whole thing. If the school had instead, gotten everyone into the Spartandome, gotten a professional speaker to come, and not had anything else, the point would have gotten across much better and there wouldn’t have been any issues with people treating the assembly like a joke or a chore.
If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts or tendencies, or any other issue along these lines, please talk to a teacher, trusted adult, the SRO, or call this anonymous hotline: 800-273-8255. It is confidential, available 24/7, and out of town, so you can get the help you need without worrying about other people knowing. And if you know someone with issues like these, speak up.