The Game of Favorites

Are some students provided with more chances to succeed? Do teachers and coaches play favorites? What causes this and can anything be done to prevent it?

Molly Garcia, Staff Writer

“I see a pattern in the casting. Every year you see the same people on the callback list. It’s never a surprise which makes it seem unfair. Certain people are given more opportunities and chances to be casted,” said an anonymous senior. Every fall, students of all grade level audition for Portage Northern’s musical. Some of these students, although casted, are unhappy with the role they are given. Seniors and other deserving students are sometimes overlooked.
This is not something that only happens within the theater department but in many school sanctioned sport, extracurricular activity, and sometimes in classrooms. Things like parent volunteering, donations made to the program, older siblings who are alumni to the program, and even favoritism govern a student’s success. A freshman whose parents donate a large some of money may be chosen over a senior who has been with the program since 9th grade but has no other ties to the program, even if the two of them are of same skill level. Most people would agree that this is unfair and is something that should not be happening in a high school setting. High school is the time for students to try new things and discover who they are and what they love. When teachers or coaches are playing favorites, students become discouraged and lose their motivation. Autumn Varney (12) believes she has experienced this first hand on Portage Northerns women’s soccer team during her freshman and sophomore year. Her junior year, she made the decision to no longer pursue her career on Northern’s soccer team due to the lack of equality.
Scott Verduzco (10), a member of Northern’s Hockey team says, “Coaches like you better if you respect them. He likes you based on character. I don’t think the coaches favor me.”
“Yes they do! He has known the coaches before he played here! That’s why they like him more.” says junior Matty Seiferlein, also a player on Northerns hockey team. Often times, those who are considered to be “favored”, do not realize they are receiving preferential treatment and are unaware of the inequality that occurs.
So what are we supposed to do? Should we kiss up to our teachers and coaches? Scrape up a few extra pennies for donations? This is not something we should feel we have to do in order to be given an equal opportunity. Not all of our parents can give an extra five hours a week to volunteer. For many families, taking money from their income is out of the question! Unfortunately, favoritism is something that we can not avoid. Many adults still experience such events in their own workplace. It is seen everywhere. Whether it works in your favor or not, there is no escaping it. It is important to remember that just because your talent is not being acknowledged or is being overlooked by teachers and coaches, does not mean you are not remarkable. Keep your head up and don’t be discouraged by the things that are beyond your control. Keep working hard because no matter what, someone always notices.