Our View

Cheers and Jeers: Domo arigato, Team Roboto

By From page A8 | September 05, 2014

We offer our cheers and jeers for local newsmakers as we look back over the previous week:

CHEERS to Davis’ own Citrus Circuits robotics team, which took first place over the weekend at the off-season Chezy Champs Robotics Tournament at Bellarmine High School in San Jose.

In the first game of the finals round, the Davis team’s alliance won 310 points to 270 points in what the judges said was one of the closest games they had ever seen. In the second game of the finals, the Davis alliance beat the opposing alliance by 126 points to go undefeated through the elimination matches and take home the Chezy Champs trophy.

CHEERS to Leadership in Diversity Student Research Scholars, and their mentor Jann Murray-García, for their meticulous work tracking racial disparities at Davis High School regarding suspensions, other discipline, faculty expectations and perceptions by classmates.

The data follow up on a similar survey conducted at DHS by Student Research Scholars in 2002. According to the students’ findings, much has improved over the past decade, but much work remains to be done.

The students earned a shout-out from civil rights icon Melba Pattillo Beals, who was one of nine African-American students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., in 1957.

JEERS to the Davis school district’s response to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that all junior high and high schools start their classes no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The doctors cited the well-being of the nation’s teens, most of whom do not get enough sleep.

While the doctors’ report provided significant and compelling data of the health, well-being, performance and safety benefits for our students, the school district’s response focused on behavior — specifically, helping students “make adjustments and prioritize their competing forces that may be cutting into the recommended sleep time.”

So, we’re just going to teach them how to go to sleep earlier.

Here’s a bright spot, though: Board member Sheila Allen, who supports pushing back the start time at the high school level, said she would like to see a community conversation about the issue. Starting classes later “is really the right thing to do for our students,” she said.

Half-hearted CHEERS to the school district for finally getting ready to sell the 8.4 acres it owns on Grande Avenue in North Davis, 43 years after buying it for $57,768. The school board hopes to sell it for $5.4 million, or slightly less than what the district could have gotten in a deal hammered out in 2006.

Will anyone pay that much? Better late than never, we suppose.

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