Bring back speech, a class important for “overall character”


Otto Tielemans

Should Foothill reestablish speech class? Credit: Felicia Perez/The Foothill Dragon Press
Should Foothill reestablish speech class? Credit: Felicia Perez/The Foothill Dragon Press

Due to an ever-decreasing budget, our school finds itself being subjugated to the grueling task of eliminating enriching courses. Last year Advanced Placement (AP) Biology, Spanish literature, and speech class were cut because their enrollment numbers weren’t high enough.

And now that the end of the year is just a few months away, registration brings up the question of whether or not some classes should come back, more specifically speech class.

With a Speech and Debate team that is constantly competing and winning tournaments, many would say there is no need to have a class at all. After all, if the purpose of a class can be achieved without having to spend precious money, why make the effort to bring it back at all? Speech and Debate as an extracurricular activity has been highly successful, and establishing a class would simply give the team an additional hour or so to practice. Time that can easily be found after school.

Also, with the competition for college admissions at its highest, it would be in the student’s best interest to bring back core subject classes. AP Biology and AP Spanish Literature are classes that would not only expand students’ overall knowledge, but give them the credentials needed to rank above others in the college admissions process.

Now of course, not everyone is interested in enrolling in classes dealing with science or a foreign language; every student is different and has unique interests. What the school and faculty must do is re-open classes that the majority of kids are interested in and wish to pursue, even if that means stalling the rebirth of some accelerated classes.

Personally, I don’t have much of an interest in speech class, but if the three or four dozen of my peers said that they wanted to enroll in it, I would not object to bringing it back. And, if art can have seven classes and a club, why can’t speech have at least one class?

True, it may not be as big as other school organizations, but it is nonetheless a populated club that will surely grow in years to come. Also, one way or another speech is part of our school’s culture. Bringing back this elective would be validation that the class, as well as the club, are a contributing part of our school.

There’s also no denying that speech and debate does aid students in strengthening their speaking skills and overall character. Things that are not only valued at school, but in the work force as well.

I realize that our school is not in the best financial situation and that in the cut-throat college admissions process, speech may not be the most outstanding class on a person’s transcript. Academically rigorous courses may not be what the students want, but we have to be compassionate with our school officials if they decide to cut back on the electives.

It would be great if we could have every single class without having to worry about the cost, but the case is not so. In the following months students will see if speech, in addition to other courses, are brought back. Hopefully the desire of the many will be taken into account when making these grueling decisions. 

What do you think?