Editor in Chief
When it comes to any form of competitiveness, good sportsmanship is crucial; it is the foundation that keeps an event safe and ongoing. While many argue that students’ aggressive behaviors at LGHS events, specifically sports games, are simply fun and games, this year’s game of Senior Assassins highlighted our school’s inappropriate behavior, further affirming that our competitiveness has spiraled out of control. Going forward, it is imperative that we as students refrain from defending unsportsmanlike conduct and foster a more positive and respectful environment.
Following what she considers to be “the longest months of [her] life,” LGHS senior Kennedy Connors emerged victorious from the 2023 game of Senior Assassins — but not without receiving a horrifying amount of backlash and incivility. Connors explained that what should have been an amusing experience quickly developed into something much darker. Many students had a difficult time balancing the competitive nature of the game and the need to respect their peers’ boundaries — a common theme with behaviors continuously displayed from LGHS at our athletic events. “After having played this game, I now understand why [Los Gatos students] aren’t allowed to go to some games with specific schools,” Connors stated. Senior Assassins 2023 unequivocally demonstrated that our school’s poor sportsmanship extends beyond competitiveness, accentuating a much deeper issue that students need to address.
Furthermore, the aggressive behavior exhibited in the game highlighted an underlying toxicity in the LGHS environment that students often unintentionally uphold — one where bullying, and even threats, are deemed acceptable. For instance, by just the fourth round of the game, both the victor and her partner Shannon Northcott-Comer simply wanted it to conclude. Connors revealed that along with numerous incidents of cyberbullying, she was also physically threatened. “The name calling and mocking hurt, but…the worst of the entire experience was one interaction I had, where someone came out yelling… ‘if you step on my property, I’m going to either hose you down or shoot you with a real gun.’” The name calling, threats, and bullying that players faced serves as a disturbing reflection of the harmful environment that has evolved within our school. It is disconcerting to see students’ competitive nature overshadowing respect and general camaraderie.
During an interview, Connors shared what she thinks students could do to improve the game and future competitive events for themselves and their peers in the future. “I think that the players specifically need to understand… that the world doesn’t revolve around us. There are other people who are being affected by our comments and our reactions.” Thus, it’s time for us to take a hard look at our behavior and make a change. Respect, kindness, and fair play must be at the forefront of all of our competitive events if we hope to uphold a more inclusive and constructive environment here at LGHS.