Freshmen at Lawrence junior highs will be among the first to part ways.
Free State High School vs. Lawrence High School. The building is built and the word is out: Lawrence now has two high schools.
Free State High School will open this fall, and the rivalry has already started.
"I'd rather go to Lawrence High School because Free State High School won't have good sports," said Emily Frank, a freshman at Central Junior High School.
"I want to go to Free State High School because it's a new school," said Shatonna, a freshman at West Junior High School who asked that her last name not be used.
So which school is better? The answer to that is a matter of opinion, and it seems that everyone has one.
"I think Lawrence High School will be better because it will have more experience. Free State High School will be trying to figure things out because it's new," said LaShonda Bell, a freshman at Central.
"I think Free State High School will be better because it has a fresh start and it's a new building," said LHS sophomore Margaret Anderson.
It'll take some time for Lawrence to adjust to two high schools. But there's no doubt that the first year will be hard.
"I want to go to Free State High School, but I will miss my friends and some of the teachers that will be left at Lawrence High School," Anderson said. " And if you're on a team, you'll have to compete against your (former) teammates."
It's always hard to be separated from friends. The schools will split some friends, which students see as a big disadvantage.
"I'm going to Free State High School, but quite a bit of them (friends) are going to Lawrence High School," Emily Frank said.
Even students who want to go to the new high school agree that it will interfere with relationships.
"About half of West Junior High School is going to Free State High School, and half is going to Lawrence High School," Shatonna said.
Saying goodbye will be hard, but it's unavoidable. Most students understand that another high school is needed.
"I don't like that they built Free State High School because they are splitting us up. Half of my friends are going to Free State High School," Bell said. "But ... the high school won't be as crowded."
When LHS was the only high school, students had a chance to meet most of their peers in the city. But Lawrence is growing, and the high school was housing more students than it could handle.
"I guess it's good that Free State High School was built because Lawrence High School has way too many people," Frank said.
Lawrence will have to go through a change next school year; one can only guess the outcome. It will be sad for the lost relationships, but also very exciting because no one really knows what to expect. The city is in for a brand-new school year with Lawrence High School vs. Free State High School.
-- Thia Belcher is a ninth-grader at Central Junior High School.