October 2017 Columns: Benefits, consequences of attending board meetings, watching horror movies


A few weeks ago, I attended a Sycamore Board of Education meeting, and it shocked me how few residents regularly attend. There were very few residents—probably around ten.

At these meetings members talk about school performance, allocating money to different places, and making/amending/removing policies.

As I am a resident, I am interested in the chain of command. How do the board members directly impact my experience, and can I have a say in how they do? The meetings help answer these questions.

Prior to this, an administrator told me SHS reached out to the community. They said they wanted students engaged in learning, helping each other, and being responsible.

If they have this “job” for us, should they be interested in if we do it? Attending board meetings is a step in ensuring that all our priorities are the same.

People generally look into the school district they will be a part of when buying a house, whether they have kids or not.

Since residents must pay taxes, they may want to know what is important to a district, and therefore what tax money is used for.

So, should adult citizens charge the institutions that receive their tax money with running schools in the best possible manner?

However, I am in no way saying Sycamore is not operating or using funds correctly. I just want to point out: should we not be curious what is important to the people affecting our school day?

Personally, I go to board meetings so that they see the face of a person they are impacting with their policies, so that they know who is affected by their words.

Should a student or resident not be curious about whether the things important to them are important to the school board?


I personally do not under any circumstances enjoy horror movies, horror TV shows, or basically anything related to the word “horror” whatsoever.

It is not just because these things keep me up at night, or because they make me scared to be home alone. It is because the plots of these movies and TV shows provoke some people to actually take these terrible situations and make them come to life.

One example is the famous movie “American Psycho” with Christian Bale, Jared Leto, and Reese Witherspoon, which inspired an absurd murder involving a high school student.

In 2004, Michael Hernandez stabbed a peer to death. According to wickedhorror.com, “He claimed to model his behavior after fictional serial killer Patrick Bateman in ‘American Psycho,’ saying that he identified with the killers in horror movies and had aspirations of becoming a serial killer himself.”

Now I am not saying everyone who sees a horror movie has the intention to hurt someone or plot an awful prank, but I do wonder: do some people go to the movies with the intent of later taking actions from the big screen to real life?

Or is it all merely caused by a person’s intention to commit a crime to get their name out into the world, becoming well-known?

All that being said, 2017 has produced no shortage of horror for fans to consume this Halloween.

“It,” based on Stephen King’s novel received rave reviews, and “Get Out” has a 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.

“mother!” with Jennifer Lawrence could also work for those who lean towards psychological thrillers.
Even though I will not be celebrating Halloween with horror, I hope everyone has a great holiday.