Hazing has no home here, contrary to rough reputation


Arthur Siqueira

Watkins Mill's reputation doesn't match its actual image

Jade Pinkowitz

Hazing in Montgomery County Public Schools dominated news feeds today. But to many Watkins Mill High School students, it was shocking to discover that the violent hazing seen in stereotypical high school movies and TV shows is actually happening so close to home.

Watkins Mill High School is constantly under fire for its bad reputation. Every Wolverine has had the following conversation:

“What school do you go to?”

“Watkins Mill.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry.”

People talk about how dangerous Watkins Mill is and about how frequent the fights are. Yes, we’ve had fights. But so has every school, even the ones at the other end of the “W” spectrum. But ask any Watkins Mill student if they feel safe and the answer will be yes.

Wolverines treat each other with genuine respect. The Mill has an incredibly diverse community and students here embrace that, rather than using it as a weapon to hurt each other. We raise each other up and show support for our differences.

Once you walk through these doors, you’re in The Den and there is someone who will have your back—and you don’t need to be humiliated in a hazing ritual to belong. Watkins Mill is a school full of acceptance for all races, genders, sexualities, and people.

Some schools end up in the spotlight for things that shine a light on the bad in this world—but Watkins Mill hides in the background—and only the people who have experienced it truly understand what a positive environment lurks behind its reputation.

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