The Science National Honor Society (SNHS) and the culinary department have both shown interest in fundraising for senior Ryan Powers, which has sparked controversy amongst the school’s student body. Powers was recently in a car accident that has left him almost fatally injured, according to www.myfoxtampabay.com. His only passenger, Justin Bell, survived the accident with luckily few injuries.
According to a close friend of Powers, who would rather not be named to protect the privacy of the Powers family, Powers was under the influence of alcohol the night the crash occurred and was speeding. Police are still investigating whether alcohol played a role in the crash. Repairing his injuries will be an extreme financial difficulty for his family. Powers’ parents were not available for comment.
SNHS supervisor Jacqueline Eisenhower knew Powers personally and suggested to her club members to have a fundraiser for him. The club discussed and voted that this could be a good possibility but decided to revisit the option after the game. Eisenhower did not expect to make a lot of money from the event.
However, when the school was unable to contact Powers’ parents, SNHS could not to donate some of the funds to Powers. The school system requires that all money is accounted for and, since the game was rapidly approaching, the school had to know where the money was going. SNHS could not fundraise money and have nowhere to donate it, so they decided to use all of the funds for their club.
The culinary department also wanted to host a fundraiser for the Powers family by selling food on the patio before the basketball game. This was not approved by the county. The school had not heard back in time for the event.
Some students, unaware that the funds are no longer going to Powers, chose to boycott the basketball game, saying that it is bad to condone drunk driving by supporting the family.
Regardless of the cancellations for unrelated reasons, The Oracle believes that a fundraiser for Powers would have been appropriate. Donating money to his family is not supporting driving under the influence but showing that everyone deserves a second chance. Our student body should not turn against a fellow student by saying he should suffer greatly for his mistakes. He has already been given obvious punishment for his choices. We should care for our peers and show unity in our school.
Powers is an obvious example of the dangers of drunk driving, but that does not mean it is right to tell him, “tough luck, sorry”, by boycotting a fundraiser for him.
Another reason for student’s animosity for raising money is that the school did not do the same for other students with crises, such as recently hospitalized Cameron Cantrell, who needed a heart transplant.
Indeed, a fundraiser should have been done to help this student as well, but that shouldn’t mean we say no to helping others when the opportunity arises.
The Powers family needs financial support to keep their teenage son alive, and if as a school we can help even in a small way, we believe our student body shouldn’t turn our backs.