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Letterman jackets; inclusive or exclusive

Conner Necessary, Reporter

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Letterman jackets have been a staple of high school athletes for many years. It is one of the few things that students take with them to college. In today’s era of entitlement, many students feel that everyone is deserving of this honor. However, that is not the case.

First off, the reason people get letterman jackets is because they played on a varsity sports team for at least two years. Playing on a team is a driving force for many athletes to work hard so they can get the jacket. Allowing simply anyone to get a letterman would make it to the point where a letterman isn’t something people work towards, rather, they are given it. As with any item that is given to all instead of a select few, it is tainted and feels much less of an award than a product.

Another common argument found in schools across the United States is that band, orchestra, and other smaller, more academic clubs should receive the same varsity jacket. This is one area in which Richmond High School has excelled. By providing similar but different enough jackets for students to be able to know the difference. Our policy makes both musical groups and athletic groups satisfied with the idea that they get a jacket to wear to show their commitment to the activity. Having different jackets to show individuality and separation between groups is something that is essential in having diversity at our school.

The easiest way to see why giving varsity letterman jackets is wrong is through imagining every groups differences. Band, speech, academic teams, and athletic groups all wearing the same jerseys to perform. Simply put, each activity requires different attire and what might be appropriate in one group might be entirely inappropriate in another activity. This applies especially to letterman jackets because giving out the same award for completely different activities doesn’t make any sense. Although the academic teams and band do not receive varsity jackets, there is no limitation to making their own jackets or honor.

The most underlying issue with the idea of giving letterman jackets to everyone who wants one is the idea that these jackets are earned not given. In order to receive a letterman jacket, someone has to be a large contributor to a varsity sport, which makes the people who have a varsity jacket a select few. If everyone got the jackets regardless of effort and time invested in a sport, there wouldn’t be the reward to look forward to or the goal to be chased. Many athletes go into high school with the goal of getting their letterman as soon as possible, which makes them try harder to compete and fight for the limited varsity spots that are available in athletics.

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Letterman jackets; inclusive or exclusive