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LHS alumnus disappointed with column

Dear Editor:

Upon leaving my dorm recently, I began to browse the web to see what’s going on in my hometown. I’m all excited for my Alma Mater returning to the semi-finals and having a firm chance at state title in football. As I am reading the VT-N, I see an article entitled “Black Students need to be better in the classrooms.”

(Editor’s note: The article was written by contributing columnist Walter Williams).

The article begins with “The educational achievement of white youngsters is nothing to write home about, but that achieved by blacks is nothing less than disgraceful.” I became disturbed as to why are only blacks referenced. I continued reading and questioned why would VT-N publish an article that is the opinion of a Baltimore resident about blacks in Baltimore? Is there an underlying message with this publication?

Moving on to something I thought would be more positive, I came across the 2018-2020 AHSAA Classification listings. It was a painful sight to see my alma mater, Lanett High School, drop to a 1A classification.

Note: the AHSAA Officials base the classifications from the numbers of enrollment.

When the 2014-2016 Classifications were posted, I recall Lanett being about 56 students from becoming a 1A School. The drop hurts, but doesn’t surprise me.

My father and I recently had a conversation about this situation  as we traveled to Lamar County for Lanett’s quarter-final football game.

I want to share my opinion as to why there is a decline in enrollment at Lanett. The first reason is our dress code. Seemingly, students and parents are too caught up in a Fashion Sense as to where education comes second to fashion. I personally was very comfortable going to school every single day wearing a uniform, because I understood high school is an institute of learning and not fashion.

Statistics show, with uniforms, in-school incidents decreased. I like to dress up and look nice, but I know my priorities as well. I don’t know of anyone who truthfully earned their degree just by looking good.

My second reason is because people don’t think of the opportunities in sport. Some think you must attend a high school in a larger classification to be seen, awarded athletic scholarships or to play at the next level of sports.

The Lanett football team has made it to the playoffs three seasons out of the past five  years thanks to Coach Clifford Story and his staff.

Did I mention we have two underclassmen who have already been offered by Alabama? Josh Evans and Shaq Jones represented Lanett above and beyond at UAB. Coach Richard Carter, his staff, and the basketball team have won two consecutive state championship titles and have many time gone deep into post season play. And don’t forget about our track team. Coach Terrence Price has two state titles and places within top five every year at the state meet.

Coach Hunter Ames and Casey Hall have the baseball program growing and will be making post season play. Last but not least, Coach Krisse Story is molding and empowering the ladies with the game of volleyball.

And my final reason is because of college education. Once again, your school does not have to have a thousand-plus students to be a recipient of a good education and be prepared for a college career.

According to one respected source, Lanett has once again been named a Bronze Ranked School in the United States. This ranking is based on the school’s performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college. In comparison to larger schools’ number of graduates in the area, Lanett (approx. 50 graduates) graduates at a third of their class size, but scholarships with half of the amount of their scholarship rewards. DO THE MATH! 

It cannot be said that Lanett doesn’t prepare its students for  college.  Those who fall short do so because  they come to school lackadaisical and do not put forth the effort needed.

I am elated to say that my father Rodney (Class of 1989), myself (Class of 2015), and my brother Jaren (Class of 2018), each worked hard to earn the title of Mr. LHS.

It’s based on  four categories: GPA, Resume, Extracurricular Activities and Interview Skills all on a 5-point scale. I am also proud to say that my score was 19 out of 20, nobody is perfect! It’s a lot of work to obtain the position to be your school representative. Congratulations Jaren Ross! Keep being great, my brother!

I am a delighted alumnus of Lanett High School. We will forever be great, no matter the size or season. Go Panthers!

Sincerely,

Jaelin Ross,

LHS Class of 2015,

Miles College student