Retro Telstar 7th Edition: Gambling Students

School Punishes, Cracks Down on Popular Hobby (pub. May 7th, 2004)

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Retro Telstar 7th Edition: Gambling Students

Brian Forster and Elizabeth Simmons

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“Retro Telstar” is a series that sifts through piles of archived articles from previous issues of the Telstar newspaper and unveils the most witty, the most archaic, and the most relevant. The series features weekly installments in its quest to connect current students with the Scorpions of the past.
The Satellite of today may not be sinking under the weight of a gambling epidemic, but the issue remains present in modern culture. Young students of contemporary times feed the urge to gamble through fantasy football leagues and inconsequential bets. Yet, thirteen years ago, gambling was a significant problem that demanded administrative action. Students were brawling, extorting, and escaping the confines of the classroom while attempting to earn a few extra bucks. Fortunately, modern teenage vices revolve around the less costly world of apps and online gaming.

It’s no shock that Satellite High School has seen the birth of numerous trends from bellbottoms to Beanie Babies, but recently a new trend less innocent has emerged: gambling.

Students have been taking an enormous gamble with their education. The stakes are one-sided, though. It students win, they might get up to ten dollars. If they lose, it could be the end of their high school experience here at Satellite.

“I think it is a problem that causes bigger problems,” said Assistant Principal Lena Wiebelt.

One of the problems that can arise is extortion. With so much money floating around, students can easily become victims or criminals.

“I found that gambling is a problem in school,” said junior Gary Scamehorn.

Another issue is fighting. Since the gambling trend at Satellite began, at least one fight concerning gambling has sent suspensions home. Expulsions could be handed out if more problems occur.

“I think it’s stupid that people are betting their hard earned money,” said junior Kaley Kersten.

High school is a time when students begin creating life-long habits: responsibility, study habits, ethics, and now gambling.

“A recent survey in Vermont of 21,297 high school students found that 53% of students gambled in the last twelve months and 7% reported significant gambling problems,” said Robert Perkins.

That is about 1,500 students with a gambling problem, and that only covers the surveyed group. Gambling is more harmful than students make it out to be.

“If it is going on in class, it is interfering with students’ education,” Wiebelt said.

With a joint task force of administrators and teachers, the hammer will fall hard on those students who choose to gamble in school.

“We need to work as a team and make sure we stop it if it’s seen,” Wiebelt said.

To those students who want to take a walk on the wild side, they could be risking an expulsion if caught gambling with their money and their futures.