Mr. Dragon Threatens Representation

Antonette Summerville, Op-Ed Writer

  The title of ‘Mr.’ Dragon posits the idea that promotes more males to join, and other genders are subconsciously discouraged from joining. Even if students of other genders are not restricted from joining, it reduces their willingness to participate.

  What is or was held as tradition does not need to stay as one. Out of the 150 years, this high school has existed, Mr. Dragon began in the 80s or 90s, died out, then revived about 5 years ago. According to some students, ‘tradition’ equates to an exercise regimen that you get sick of after a few days.

  Some alternative suggestions were to add a ‘Mrs. Dragon’ event, and let students who don’t identify as male or female go to the talent show. ‘If gender minorities feel uncomfortable participating in a popular event, they can do a different one’ is the message carried by such a statement. Instead of gender neutrality, it accepts more gender separation.

  Graduated student, Lauren Smith, was a candidate last year attempting to earn the title of ‘Mr. Dragon.’ Kaishalee Baez stated that false rumors spread about Smith that she identified as a man. Keeping the name would “create the same situation, and we don’t want our school to be led with false presumptions of people.”

  Another female student who claimed to be a friend of Smith tried to refute this, claiming “she wanted to be called Mr. Dragon because it was controversial, and thought it was funny.”

 The point so graciously missed that a masculine name made people form a misconception about someone’s identity due to participating in an event. It is appropriate to let baseless rumors spread because one person was supposedly ‘happy’?

  To a non-binary or transgender student, the name change promotes the inclusivity the school promises. Since the burning of the LGBTQ+ posters on the school campus, its community felt distressed and vulnerable due to slow school action to investigate the crime.

  Votes on changing the name were conducted twice within the leadership team and once at a student forum on Jan. 18, of which neither portrayed of an accurate representation of the school.

  Leadership consists mainly of upperclassmen, who are majority White with a handful of Hispanic students although the school has majority non-White and freshmen students.

  This simple name-change first lost with the majority voting to keep the name; the second vote tied 16-16. They decided to keep the name as if the decision was final.

  The forum passed Mr. Dragon Surveys to students asking their opinion on the name change. The papers were tallied and the name-change lost. However, the poor design of the survey left any result hopeless and invalid from the start.

  Students who participated weren’t even a fifth of the school population or an accurate representation, the forum was exposed to voluntary response bias, leaving the survey susceptible to strongly opinionated people and producing mass undercoverage in the school population.

  Additionally, some questions were not formulated properly. Question six stated: “Would you be open to including girls in the Mr. Dragon Competition but keeping the name of Mr. Dragon the same?” A “No” vote implies not including girls or keeping the name, and a “Yes” vote means including girls and not keeping the name, leaving no options in between.

  Rather than using horribly conducted surveys and underrepresented populations as proper opinions, the name should be open to fair, unbiased votes and name suggestions to fully informed students of all grades, races, and identities.