EDITORIAL: Unity, kindness, support vital components following tragedy

On March 5, dozens of purple balloons floated up into the sky and out of sight as students came together for a giant group hug.  Afterwards, hundreds of people gathered in the Commons in complete silence for more than 15 minutes, something its walls have likely never seen before.  Students spent the entire day at Samantha Sipes’s memorial, crying, hugging, praying, and comforting one another.

The school’s atmosphere that day was indescribable.

For many, it was their first time experiencing a major loss.  As a teenager, death can seem distant and unimaginable, but that day, it was very real. In the wake of the tragedy, CMR’s student body came together in a way that many high schools wouldn’t; the way students showed love to one another and assembled together to mourn was akin to that of a family.

It was a day that most Rustlers will never forget.

Since the memorial, CMR has had time to grieve and move on (at different paces – some were closer to Sipes than others.)  The initial grief and shock has worn off, and students may not feel as close to their classmates as they did at first.

It shouldn’t take a tragedy to bring a school together, but now that one has occured, remaining united seems to be the best course of action to pursue.

We at The Stampede want to encourage the student body to continue supporting one another with kindness and compassion. We hope to see Sipes’s legacy making an impact for years to come.

In order for this to happen, students must be proactive.  Hugging, smiling at strangers, random acts of kindness, and genuinely asking people how they are doing all help.

Everyone experiences hardship, and often they don’t open up to others about their struggles.  It is truly incredible how many people choose to remain silent.  Every student walking the halls of CMR has his or her unique story; everyone feels pain.

We must continue to be a family to each other and learn to put aside our differences.  We must show love, empathy, and patience with each other.  Let this be an opportunity to foster learning and growth.

Above all, we must treat every day as if it were our last.  Every moment is a gift unto itself, and we should treat it as such.

Most people would hope that their last moments on Earth would be filled with joy, surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones.

No one knows when his or her moment to pass will come; we should be thankful for every breath and every day we receive.

Let’s work together to make CMR’s student body known more than it already is for being friendly, welcoming, kind, and respectful.

In the time following a death, unity is imperative.

To honor Sipes and her legacy, let’s make CMR  a school she would have continued to be proud to attend.