West Tech's Creativity Crisis

As high school students, teenagers are navigating through who they are as a human being. During this crucial time in our lives, self-expression is vital to defining their individuality, and frankly, West Tech is failing to forge this environment for its students.

Discovering one’s passion takes time, and it is important for our schools to create an atmosphere to foster creativity and this very self-discovery (especially in our so-called year of wellbeing). West Career and Technical Academy is known statewide for its top tier academics, but is WCTA lacking a crucial element to providing students with a complete education?

Numerous studies have shown the clear benefits of including arts education within schooling systems, but the importance of creativity lies much deeper beneath the rising test scores and substantial statistics. In recent years, Nevada school districts have witnessed their student bodies struggle increasingly with mental health.

Schools across the state have implemented changes in an attempt to turn around this daunting rise, although little effect has been made on students themselves. Freshman student Madison Menard says “I think that West Tech really focuses on the medical fields, and doesn’t really acknowledge the artists, musicians, or photographers here.”

For many adolescents, having an artistic outlet acts as an escape from daily tolls on their mental state. To confide in music, drawing, writing, and even movement has a monumentally more evident impact on student mental health. Yes, our school is magnet-based and focused on specific education fields, but that does not mean that West Tech lacks to capability to create a campus rich in the self-expression and artistic platform creative students crave.

Junior student James Baker says “We should have different fields of art because it limits students. We don’t have a choir, our theater is lacking, and it’s ridiculous that our orchestra has to play in a cafeteria or gymnasium where we can’t even hear ourselves.”

The time has come for WCTA to make a shift for the better. Students deserve the ability to create what they love with freedom.

Photo Credit: Camille Simmons (artwork by Nathalia Rios)

Photo Caption: An example of the artistic potential and capabilities of our students at West Tech.

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