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The Real Cost of Austin City Limits

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With Austin City Limits fast approaching, students dread the day they have to get their make-up work from scowling teachers. Meanwhile, teachers are still trying to forget last year’s piles of late work. It seems like no one’s a winner, but everyone has a different idea of ACL and how it impacts our school.

“Getting late work doesn’t have to be a huge deal as long as you talk to your teachers in advance,” senior Kyra Hernandez said.

ACL is one of the biggest music festivals in the country with 195,000 attendees last year. With music that shakes the windows of the school, it’s a major issue for students who want to learn and teachers who need to teach. Many students skip school for the festival and teachers and faculty struggle with attendance every year. For every day a student is absent the district loses $45 of funding from the state. Numbers like that add up.

Attendance isn’t even the issue for some teachers; it’s how the students go about it.

“I would rather a student be upfront and honest with me,” musical theatre director Annie Dragoo said. “I would like them to tell me beforehand.”

Other teachers share the same sentiments.

“I feel it’s more respectful when they’re just honest about it,” history teacher Drew Calver said.

While some teachers try to deter students from going to the music festival, others are more concerned with a bigger problem: safety. Most students on campus seem to think teachers just don’t want them to have fun, but that’s not the concern. Much like when students leave campus for lunch, many students risk their safety for the sake of not getting caught.

“The biggest problem that I have is if they leave after they’re at school,” math teacher Elvie Swail said. “I just think it’s not very safe.”

While the district has just accepted this inevitability for years, others have their own idea of a solution. This may seem implausible, but we wouldn’t be the first school to do so. Dragoo explained her experience with her past school near the rodeo. Not unlike ACL, many students wanted to go to the rodeo so the district did the easy thing: they gave them the day off.

“I think it would be really great if we had one of the teacher work days on an ACL day,” Dragoo said.

All in all, the problem with ACL is the way we deal with it. Students seem to see their teachers as the enemy when all they want to do is help students learn. If students and teachers can work together, all the other issues will work themselves out. When it comes to ACL, teachers aren’t as different from students as you may think.

“I love that it’s right there,” Calver said.

* There will be a solo surprise ACL artist performing on Friday, October 9. To be eligible, students must have perfect attendance from October 2 through October 9.

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The Real Cost of Austin City Limits