Why Not The Lower School?

Harvard News 2/1/83–Editorial – WHY NOT THE LOWER SCHOOL? — By E. Randol Schoenberg, Managing Editor

I must say that I enjoyed hearing the eighth graders recite their winning poems at last week’s All-School Assembly, and I was genuinely intrigued by the accomplishments that the Lower School has made. But I was also shocked and alarmed at how separated I have become from the Lower School just three years after leaving it. After all, it is a part of Harvard School and I do pass through Rugby occasionally on my way up to Harvard Hall. I am familiar with almost all that goes on in the Upper School by reading the Harvard News, but rarely does any news about the Lower School appear in our paper. It is not that their news isn’t worthy of printing, and it isn’t non-existent (as evidenced by Mr. Amato’s speech). It just isn’t printed.

The reason for this, I imagine, is that the Lower School has the Foyer Flyer. Maybe I haven’t seen a Foyer Flyer since I graduated eighth grade. I suppose it is stowed away deep in the Lower School Office, where no Upper Schooler is likely to go. Are they hiding it from us, or do they assume that no one in the Upper School cares about seventh and eighth grade activities? I care as much about the Lower School Math Team (I’ve heard rumors about its existence) as I do about the Upper School Team, and the same goes for basketball and poetry contests. As a matter of fact, I probably would rather read about the activities of the Lower School, about which I am less likely to hear, than of the Upper School, about which I hear a lot. When I was in the Lower School, I looked forward to reading the Coldwater Pipeline (although it only came out a few times a year) more than the Foyer Flyer (although it was less productive then than it is now), because the Pipeline had news I didn’t know. It was real news!

The problem with printing Lower School news, and I assume this is why we don’t, is that we need Lower Schoolers to write the articles. Obviously there are some capable journalists, but they all write for the Foyer Flyer. There has been a long-standing tradition of having an exclusively Upper School newspaper. The Student Handbook even says that the newspaper is restricted to ninth through twelfth graders. But there is no reason for such a rule. The students who write for the Foyer Flyer show an interest in journalism that should continue when they leave eighth grade. Essentially they have to start over at the bottom.

What I propose is the incorporation of the Lower School’s Foyer Flyer with the Harvard News. The Lower School would benefit by our organization and regularity, while the Upper School would become more informed about Lower School activities and achievements. The Harvard News would be improved by the addition of new writers who could continue and improve their journalism with experience. Seventh graders brought through this system would be better able to manage the paper when they become editors, so the quality of the paper would increase. It would bridge an unneeded gap between the Upper and Lower Schools. And finally, more people would read the paper because it would appeal to more people. I truly believe that this unification would be beneficial to everybody and I look forward to the day when a picture of a seventh grader is on the front page of the Harvard News. After all, the paper is not called the “Harvard Upper School News!”

Leave a Reply