It's been close to a year since I graduated from Cedartown High School, and I've learned a lot about how people see our town from the outside looking in. Quite honestly, people seem to remember the bad things more than the good.
Why am I bringing this up?
Have any of the locals read the paper? Let's face it, a weapon of any kind in a middle school gives a pretty shady image of the community. The phrase "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch" is true. If you were a parent who was choosing between moving to either Cedartown or another area, you wouldn't want to send your child to a school where a weapon was found.
Another incident that happened very recently, the sexting case. Congrats. Read the comments on shared links on Facebook. I won't lie, I laughed a bit at the article. I actually found myself thinking "well this would be the one thing missing from our school." However, it's not funny. It's not even funny that my first thought was that the situation would have been the one thing missing from my Alma Mater.
Cedartown, please clean up your act. If you think something doesn't impact you, it does. If an outsider looking in doesn't see how successful our band program is, the amazing productions of the drama department, how far our football team has made it, and how the academics are steadily improving and is first greeted by all of the negative, we've got bigger problems than fixing a road. Business come where employees would be willing to call home. The majority of people want to live somewhere safe (socially, physically, and mentally).
So now I'm asking honestly if people at home truly care about Cedartown. Yeah, everyone wants to get out. I know that. I can probably guess a lot of the reasons why people say the same thing still today. "There isn't anything to do here." "I'm so tired of doing the same thing over and over again."
And honestly, there isn't as much to do in Cedartown as there is in Rome. However, here's a list of what all can be done:
Midnight runs to waffle house/huddle house (after sporting events at the high school I know this was popular)
Band concerts (come on people, it's a great program and the concerts are FREE)
CHS Drama Department Productions (If the acting cast is anything like I remember, you won't regret any dime spent on attending one of these)
Go workout with some friends (ex: running at the park, biking on the silver comet trail) and then support the LOCAL economy by going to Top This afterwards.
The arts festival always draws huge crowds along with the 5k.
Go watch the Road Race that comes through Cedartown. We have local olympians who participate in it. (Yes, I did say Cedartown is a place that an Olympian calls home).
And this list doesn't include sporting events, relay for life,, etc...
Still not enough, why don't we encourage students to create their own projects for community service and/or starting their own business? The students are creative enough, but lets face it, getting through all the hoops can be a bit of a struggle if you don't know which one to go through.
Another thing before I get off my soap box. Why not try to have at least one positive event about the community reach the front page of the local paper every week? It's going to take some hard work by everyone. Students of all levels of schooling, community service organizations, and people of ALL socio-economic standings. It's not impossible though.
So Cedartown, please try to clean up your image. I want to say that I'm proud to have been a part of Cedartown and can recommend Cedartown for others to visit.
A very concerned graduate of Cedartown High School.