Should we Keep the Latin Requirement

By: Ella Anderson ’17

Latin surrounds all of us, whether we realize it or not. In Lower School, we are required to take two years of Latin.  It is a controversial topic among students whether it should be a requirement or just an optional class. Latin is a school tradition. Over the years, hundreds of Groton students have studied Latin. Some have found their passion in this classical language, whereas others can’t wait to finish Latin 2.

Trevor Fry, a current Fourth Former, studied Latin in Second and Third Form, but dropped it this year. The class helped him learn French and he admits he would have tried it anyway had it not been mandatory. But he says “I was tired of it…A basic understanding of the language is helpful and important, but to me delving any deeper is close to pointless. Learn a language you can actually use to communicate with people!” This is the argument with many students – Latin is a “dead language,” so why bother learning? Ms. Martin-Nelson, one of the Latin teachers, is a strong supporter of the requirement. “[Latin] is like medicine or super foods – it is good for everyone.” Ms. Martin-Nelson makes a strong point. Latin is the root of multiple modern languages, and knowing a bit can’t do us any harm.

Some say that Latin is the worst part of their day, but when students are asked if they supported the requirement, almost all replied “yes.”

Classics Club Heads (A. Kopp ’13)

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