The face of Edgewood [Editorial]

August 27, 2013|Editorial from The Aegis

The thing about reputations, good or bad, is they often aren't all that accurate.

From a reputation perspective in Harford County, Edgewood High and Fallston High are on opposite ends of a spectrum. In reality, they're both fine schools with high-achieving students, and they both have their problems.

It, therefore, comes as no particular surprise that a gathering of Edgewood High students and graduates would spend some of the precious few days of summer vacation assembling a mural at the school. The mural is designed to depict the real faces of Edgewood. Not the stereotypes. Not the malformed images of reputation in the minds of outsiders. It features self-portraits of students who participated in the project as well as other people. The images are enlarged photographs, prominently displayed on a wall at the corner of Edgewood and Willoughby Beach roads near the school, and show mostly smiling or pensive faces.

Quoted recently for an article on the project, dance teacher Kelly Christ said: "This project was like, faces in your face. This is Edgewood... People see the faces of Edgewood and it's a misconception about this neighborhood, this community, but it doesn't exist in the school... We need to tell the media that this is not who we are, this is not true."

The project involved 300 people – students, teachers and community members – who were photographed, and was done in conjunction with an international effort called the Inside Out project. The project is designed to turn personal images into works of art.

In the Edgewood case, it also serves to turn inside out the mistaken image that there's something wrong with Edgewood High School and, to an extent, the community it serves. That reputation is ill-deserved, for the most part. Edgewood and Edgewood High are thriving communities consisting of mostly good people.

As is the case in every human endeavor, Edgewood has its problems and its shortcomings. On the whole, however, any community that is judged only based on what's wrong with it, is judged unfairly.

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