A High School Stereotype
Most students who have gone to high school had a lot of involvement in events that would possibly change them for the rest of their lives. Most students have a lot of memories and went through a lot of changes during that most unusual four year period. Events like learning how to drive, proms, and SAT’s are just a few of the things that all students had to go to while attending high school. Furthermore, most students were also involved in their school in some way shape or form. Examples of this would be sports such as football, track, or wrestling, fine arts such as band or theater, or academics such as clubs like the national honor society. However, to say that all of these groups of people keep only to themselves and never interact with other people is false. A New York Times article written in May of 1999 by Tamar Lewin says just that. This article describes how cliques and other social groups function at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. It also describes the parallels between Chaparral High School and Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. The article uses appeals to emotion throughout, but does not make any real logical argument to back up the facts it presents.
Most of the article rides on appeals to emotion, relying on the testimonials of a number of students to get the point across that the school is at risk. A technique that the author uses to get the point across using pathos is a mild form of scare tactic. Throughout the entire article the author makes references to Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado and how the two high schools are similar in size, wealth, and ethnic makeup. Everyone knows Columbine of course for the unfortunate school massacre in which fourteen people were killed and many more injured. This makes the reading audience believe that by associating these names, both high schools are alike and the same events might happen to both schools. The author goes even further to explain how the week before the shootings at Columbine happened, there was also violence at Chaparral among two rival groups after school one day. The two students apparently got in a fight over a girl, using brass knuckles and a baseball bat. Although it was a bad event, occurrences like this aren’t that uncommon. However the fact that it was indirectly related to the Columbine incident makes many of the readers feel uncomfortable about going to a school like Chaparral for safety reasons.
During the course of this article, there are many facts that are...