Taking a high school rivalry too far

Recent offenses between Mclean and Langley students give rise to the question: how far is too far?


Sawyer Blazar, Reporter

For as far back as anyone can remember, Langley High School has sported an intense rivalry with its sworn crosstown enemy, McLean High School. However, recently,  a Friday night after a McLean basketball victory, tensions between the two schools boiled over at a nearby McDonald’s.

Videos surfaced of the melee breaking out in the fast-food spot, with several students from both high schools upturning tables and throwing punches in a space crowded with people. Police arrived, but too late to intervene before it was over.

A week prior to the fight, extensive graffiti was discovered on the property of both high schools. While both schools’ rocks were spray-painted in the other school’s colors, Langley’s main building was defaced with various obscenities, which were visible for days until they were able to be removed. Local police and many local news sources even began reporting from McLean about the vandalism scandal.

After both schools had been defaced, Langley and McLean’s student leadership teams issued a joint statement condemning the graffiti, and calling for a healthier competitive relationship moving forward. Unfortunately, this did not bring an end to violence. The events that transpired have prompted the question: how far is too far?

Going “over-the-top” has always been a part of sports matches between the two schools, but that has taken on a different meaning in recent years: students have been taking pranks from good-natured to malicious and now, illegal.

Rivalries between schools will always develop, but when that competitive spirit spills over and damages property and the community, a line has been crossed. Defacing a public school and starting a fight in a fast-food establishment to establish your school’s superiority actually does the exact opposite: it debases your school’s reputation in the eyes of the community. In trying to prove your school’s supremacy by fighting and vandalizing, you instead cast you and your school in a very different light.
Finally, the colors we wear on our sweatshirts for the high school teams we support do not define us and they certainly do not define who our enemies are. We’re all high schoolers going through the same things, facing similar battles, and the school we go to does not make a difference in who we are as people.