Editor’s Note: This story was written by students on the journalism staff at Tahoma High School. It was originally published on Tahoma News and has been shared with permission by the authors. Click here to learn more about the journalism program at Tahoma.
There are painted rocks starting to come up, seemingly out of nowhere. Why? Because people like Ms. Agnew and Ms. Tubbs are encouraging students to paint and place them around the spirit rock. The rock garden is growing fast because of people around the King County area who want to pitch in.
The rocks originally placed at the spirit rock were placed by people apart of the community that asked to place them, and once the school agreed and cleared a spot for it, they placed painted rocks around the Spirit Rock. Then, after the candlelight vigil for Kylee Snyder, a group of people came and placed more. These rocks were to commemorate the three students we have lost within the past two years. Once the rocks were placed around the spirit rock, more students started to join in and paint their own to put in the soon-to-be rock garden. Freshman Vince Fasano stated that “It’s really cool that we could come together and manifest our feelings into something more productive.”
Tubbs joined in having her students paint rocks because she believes that the students can spread our positivity “instead of those little sticky notes [with positive messages] that are all around the school. This is more of a permanent acknowledgement.” Either way, the positivity sticky notes will be one day replaced by more, while the rocks will hopefully stay forever. Ms. Agnew, however, joined in because she saw how big of an impact this was for the entire community.
The rock was chosen for a specific reason; its location has had a strong Tahoma tradition and had already been a place for people to contribute. “That’s where people started leaving flowers and everything else. And actually the idea came from the community. There were community members who were painting rocks. There’s Maple Valley Rocks, Enumclaw Rocks, Buckley Rocks, and someone was like ‘oh that’d be really cool if they were all positive messages and things like that,” Agnew said. This project will help all of the community, and it’s a fantastic way to help everyone get along and agree to make a permanent solution for happiness. Whether it be the students, teachers, or visitors of Tahoma High School, this project’s positive impact has clearly become widespread. The community as a whole still has a large mountain to climb when it comes to mutual respect and empathy among students, but the positive tone the rocks spawn is certainly a step in the right direction.
The growing number of painted rocks seems to symbolize a sense of unity that has been sparked within Tahoma students, which is something the Tahoma community could always use.