School spirit should not be used as an excuse to show wealth

Students+cheering+on+CHS+at+the+football+game+against+Whitman+show+spirit+appropriately+in+%22white+out%22+clothing+theme.

Jake Herman

Students cheering on CHS at the football game against Whitman show spirit appropriately in "white out" clothing theme.

By Jake Herman, News Editor

At the Sept. 8 Churchill vs.Wootton football game, a sizeable, mostly male contingent of the CHS student section strolled through the gates of Wootton High School’s stadium dressed in their “rich” clothes in participation of a “rich-out.”

Button-down shirts, blazers, watches and designer sunglasses were out in full force as students sought to follow the “rich-out” theme that was informally established by students. Whether students saw the “rich-out” as a harmless joke or an earnest attempt at school spirit, it is mortifying that some CHS students think it is okay to turn a school-wide student section into an opportunity to boast wealth.

According to U.S. News and World Report’s profile of the CHS student body, five percent of CHS students are economically disadvantaged. While many CHS students were born into affluent families, at least 100 students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. Although this number is lower than many other MCPS schools, that isn’t caused by the students themselves. The vast majority, if not each and every student who “riched out” were supposedly showing off money that they hadn’t even earned themselves.

CHS students and residents of Potomac as a whole are often accused of living in a “bubble,” blind to the struggles of less fortunate Americans. While I’m not saying I wholly agree with this notion, the case grew stronger Sept. 8 in the bleachers at Wootton’s football stadium.

The week of the football game, the news was dominated by two Category 4 hurricanes slamming into the US: Harvey and Irma. While I understand that some students saw the “rich out” as an innocent joke and never intended to offend anyone, the very nature of a “rich out” coupled with the headlines of the week is enough to fuel others’ image of CHS as a pretentious and oblivious bubble.

The “rich out” brought every negative stereotype of CHS into the light.

Once the rumor of a “rich out” spread, the idea was strongly disavowed by the school SGA and staff in the week leading up the game. However, many students still participated when Friday came. However,the only way that school spirit can improve is if the student body comes together to get behind our school. And to do this, having the student section follow a theme that is decent and respectful would be a good start.