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Domino by Nick Tasler

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3Drivers and Passengers

Premont School's scrape with death, and their miraculous turnaround, is a triumph of change by decision. But for most of those who lived it, it was as much tragedy as it was triumph.

Many students, like Maria Navarro, the freaked-out student body president, valedictorian, and would-be head cheerleader, felt slightly less than triumphant. “It's been horrible,” she told reporters. “It's unfair because we have been doing our part. We come to school. We get good grades and yet we are the ones who have to suffer: no football, no homecoming game, no homecoming court. Our senior year, they just took it away from us.”

What Maria Navarro was really asking was: Why did it have to come to this?

The short answer is: it didn't.

If the school administrators and the town leaders had made the necessary decisions in the years leading up to Singleton's fateful judgment, they could have prevented such a drastic decision from the state education association, which may have prevented Ernest Singleton's decision to cancel football in order to save the school.

But they didn't.

That might be the most important lesson of Domino. Change decisions shouldn't be used like a fire extinguisher. They shouldn't be kept behind a piece of glass and accessed only in case of emergency. One thing we can count on is that if we choose not to decide, it won't be long before our bosses or investors or legislators or customers will decide for us. By getting into the habit of deciding instead of ...

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