Student's view: Teach the next generation well by passing Hermantown referendum
I am a 17-year-old senior at Hermantown High School. I am writing to ask all voters of Hermantown to vote yes on Tuesday's school bond referendum. I ask for personal reasons. Even though I am graduating from Hermantown this year and have no young...
I am a 17-year-old senior at Hermantown High School. I am writing to ask all voters of Hermantown to vote yes on Tuesday's school bond referendum.
I ask for personal reasons. Even though I am graduating from Hermantown this year and have no younger siblings who will attend the school, I have a story I hope no other student will have to tell.
If you are a hockey fan, you may remember me as number 11 on the Hermantown Hawks varsity squad last year. Fortunately, I was able to live a dream and play in the state hockey tournament, but I had my doubts I would ever get to play high school hockey.
You see, while I was a student in the middle school, I developed severe asthma. I didn't know why. I only knew I was prescribed two inhalers that I used multiple times per day while in school. Trying to play hockey during these years was horrible. I had to have my inhaler on the bench in order to make it through a game. I couldn't take a normal-length shift because I was too tired and breathless to skate hard for more than a minute. I would sit on the bench coughing uncontrollably, feeling like I might die because I could not catch my breath.
My parents talked to me about the possibility that I might have to quit hockey. I was devastated. Each summer, I would get much better and even get to the point where I did not need my emergency inhaler. But every fall I got worse again and soon relapsed to a point where I knew my parents were scared for me. I could see it in my mom's eyes.
After 8th grade, I experienced my normal summer where I felt and breathed a lot better. However, in 9th grade, I got to go to the high school. I didn't need my emergency inhaler anymore, and, I am happy to say, I have not used any inhaler in more than two years. I don't need anyone to confirm that the middle school was making me sick; I know it in my heart.
I am fortunate enough to have moved on from the middle school, and I have no intention of going back in that building. I recently learned the air quality in the school is worse than when I attended. The sad fact is the staff of that school has to go back there every fall. I know many teachers and staff members in middle school who have severe allergies, headaches and illnesses. I can't believe any adult in this community would be happy going to work in a building that makes them sick.
While deciding which way you will vote Tuesday, remember you will be teaching my generation what value you as adults place not only on education and children's health but also on the health of the staff at Hermantown Middle School. My generation is watching and learning from your actions at this important time in our school district's history. Please teach us well and vote yes.
Ryan Carlson attends Hermantown High School.