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Letter to the Editor: Walkout or political rally?

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Letter to the Editor: Walkout or political rally?

Kennedy Homman

Kennedy Homman

Kennedy Homman

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The words ¨Never Again¨ could be seen and heard around Metea almost everywhere on March 14th, as students demonstrated a walkout for an increase in student voice and to show respect for those that had died in the latest shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The original purpose of the school walkout was to honor the lives of the seventeen victims who passed away in the school shooting which took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as to allow the students of Metea to unify and show the power of student voice. However, many participants may have noticed that this so-called march for “student voice” really only supported one type of voice.

From the beginning, the walkout was extremely one-sided. It consisted of many people holding a wide variety of signs, the majority of which demanded stricter gun control laws and attempted to make a ridicule of our Constitution’s Second Amendment. One anonymous student attended the walkout holding a sign which stated ¨Arm Teachers, Save Lives¨. This student was asked by our very own principal to then get rid of the sign as it was deemed ¨too controversial¨, and the sign was subsequently confiscated.

At a rally for student voice.

This is very clear hypocrisy from the administrative level of our school (who, by the way, shouldn’t be publicly taking political stances whilst working with students in the first place.)

The message here is that if your political views align with the majority at the school, or even just the higher up administrative levels, then you get to retain your First Amendment rights to free speech. However, as soon as your view differs from the norm, or what Dr. Echols believes is an acceptable view to have, your Freedom of Speech is immediately revoked.

Now, is it fair to only allow students who pertain to your political views to express their freedom of speech?

Is it fair to say a walkout is meant to show respect and student voice, only to quickly change the idea into a political rally?

Is it fair for the Principal of our school to actively shut down views that are deemed “too controversial”?

The answer is very clearly no. Freedom of Speech, unlike last week’s rally, truly is a bipartisan issue, and it was unfair to have misrepresented the other side of the protests under the false pretense of bipartisan unity. Hopefully, our school will learn from last weeks walkout and attempt to correct its mistakes when handling political problems in the future.

21 Comments

21 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Walkout or political rally?”

  1. lollypop on March 21st, 2018 7:35 am

    I like this guy he speaks the TRUTH!

  2. Someone Educated on March 21st, 2018 7:38 am

    Finally something on metea media that isn’t showing one side. Thank you for this.

  3. King Echols on March 21st, 2018 7:42 am

    Ah yes, bad on you Administration for the contents of a rally that took so little part in, that they wouldn’t even help with the sound system.
    How dare this tyrant Dr. Echols ask that a student leave after his sign was violently attacked by an upset person.
    I’m not saying that it was right for his view to be disregarded, but like……………dude should have known what he was getting into? It was pretty clear what the rally was ACTUALLY about. I mean, it was a nationwide solidarity movement organized by the students of parkland. No offense, you’d kinda be dumb not to realize what’s going on
    The man in question is generally very outspoken with controversial opinions, and it is likely that more altercations would have occurred.
    It is the first priority of the administration to ensure that things progressed peacefully, and therefore he was removed
    .
    The idea of arming teachers wasn’t in question, it was the delivery and overall crowd reaction. If anything this article should be about how students weren’t open to the idea, not the faculty.

  4. Kyle Smart on March 21st, 2018 8:26 am

    Considering this is a public institution and our parents tax money pays their salaries, they have an obligation to support free speech. Sad!

  5. Saif on March 21st, 2018 8:36 am

    I think you have a really good point, Brady. It’s nice to see you using your freedom of speech to talk about this issue, which I’ve seen myself.

  6. Cian28 on March 21st, 2018 9:26 am

    I am the anonymous student. My name is Cian Mattern, I would like everyone to know my story and to be able to learn from it. Thank you so much for this well needed post, you are such a good person and a good American.

  7. прямой белый самец on March 21st, 2018 9:49 am

    I’m glad the authors of this article finally decided to broaden up the views of this school. I know more than a few friends who didn’t go to the walkout because their views differed from the norm, and they feared for their safety seeing past events happen at Charlottesville and Berkeley. Violence should never be tolerated in an effort to show your views and you shouldn’t be scared or silenced because of your views, especially at school. I expected there to be more discussion and constructive talk at the walkout. instead, I got a load of anti-gun rhetoric.

  8. Free Thinker on March 21st, 2018 10:22 am

    I agree. Student Voice means all voice. That’s what makes america a free country: Freedom of Speech. Everyone should have a chance to voice their opinion, whether it agrees with what people say or not.

  9. Dooley Doo on March 21st, 2018 10:41 am

    The one thing I hate about our modern society is that people tend to make contrast principles between themselves and their peers. They think that just because they believe in one thing and someone else thinks differently, then they should be treated less fairly in whats supposed to be at a place of equal grounds. Just speaking my mind.

  10. LiterallyrightThere on March 21st, 2018 12:10 pm

    Hey, so if you are talking about Cian who says Dr. Echols took his sign, I was right there and he is lying about what happened. Cian’s sign got ripped by a classmate, and Dr.Echols asked what Cian was going to do with it because it was ripped. Cian then responded with; “I don’t need it, I have something better,” (referring to his Trump cape) and willingly gave his sign to Dr.Echols. His voice was not silenced, he was not kicked out of the rally and was still outside when we were walking back in, and I’m frankly disgusted with this. Also the original reason for the student walkout was against gun control. In fact it was actually controversial because the school made it about school safety as opposed to gun control.

  11. ya boi on March 21st, 2018 12:22 pm

    say it louder for the people in the back

  12. a on March 21st, 2018 1:38 pm

    I do agree with some of the other people in the comments that this is a good use of your free speech. Despite being in favor of gun control, I do think that it’s important that schools are staying neutral in these kinds of affairs. However, I feel that the school may have stepped in to silence some things they deemed “controversial” due to fear of violence. I’ve got a friend who said they couldn’t go because their parents were scared that it’d get violent. Though it seems as though it was bias, I’d prefer to give the school the benefit of the doubt and hope that they were simply trying to protect the safety of all people at the school.

  13. c on March 21st, 2018 4:24 pm

    Why wouldn’t they just not allow any signs at all, wouldn’t it be better for the school to be nuetral on the issue than to be biased? Why should one student have to take their sign down which has their political view simply because it’s not the most popular opinion, while others are allowed to have several opposing political signs raised as well as scream their view through a bullhorn. Brady is pointing out the obvious in the article that Dr. Echols and the Metea administration as a whole were being extremely biased and we’re not staring nuetral what so ever.

  14. That guy on March 22nd, 2018 7:27 am

    *neutral
    you did it twice.

  15. Cool Dude on March 21st, 2018 3:12 pm

    This was supposed to be a memorial to remember those 17 who lost their lives, not turn it into a political rally to ban guns and impose leftist views.

  16. Alexa Jordan on March 22nd, 2018 10:09 am

    First, as an organizer, I can tell you that the walkout was never supposed to be a memorial. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.” It was to promote school safety, unify our community, promote student voice, and ultimately act as a catalyst for legislative change. The administration and students did not silence conservatives- we wanted to hear their voice too.

  17. axiet on March 23rd, 2018 8:25 am

    “Thoughts and prayers are not enough.”

    But 17 minutes is…

    “The administration and students did not silence conservatives- we wanted to hear their voice too.”

    Are you sure?

  18. What the law says . . . on March 21st, 2018 6:15 pm

    According to the 1969 Tinker vs. Des Moines Supreme Court case,”‘In order for the State in the person of school officials to justify prohibition of a particular expression of opinion, it must be able to show that its action was caused by something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint. Certainly where there is no finding and no showing that engaging in the forbidden conduct would “materially and substantially interfere with the requirements of appropriate discipline in the operation of the school,’ the prohibition cannot be sustained.” Did the sign disrupt the peaceful protest? Did it cause violence? We might never know, because the sign was confiscated.

  19. Wut on March 29th, 2018 10:38 pm

    Even though I completely disagree with the idea of arming teachers, I appreciate your letter. The climate at Metea is often very liberal and it can be frustrating for those of you on the more conservative side of the spectrum. I think we, as students, need to foster an environment where everyone is more open to respectful discourse about things we disagree on. Few people, regardless of political stance, are good at truly listening and looking at things from a perspective other than their own. When no one is willing to be civilized and at least listen to others’ opinions, radicalism can grow from the alienation people start to feel. I hope more people realize this eventually. The road to “utopia” isn’t paved with vitriolic cyber-arguments, dirty looks, and ideological echo chambers.

  20. The Diddler on April 15th, 2018 3:42 pm

    This rally was a mess to begin with, the majority of the students out there were only outside to skip class. Students were waving signs like “Bring back bosco sticks” and other random things. Their moment of silence was a loud one where a good portion of the students kept talking. Sure there are students who can express their political opinion, but a good portion are just kids who really don’t care and only want to get out of class. I have the utmost respect to those who stayed inside, many of whom actually made comments about how the “rally” was going to not go well. They were correct.

  21. Erin on May 1st, 2018 2:39 pm

    Thank you for speaking up! I know a lot of us feel this way and don’t agree with the “protest” but feel like no one in the school cares or wants to hear it. Lots of us want the opportunity to share our beliefs in the way the students here got to, but we were never given the chance to. Metea is a very liberal school with little conservative representation so it is nice to see an article showing our side of this debate.

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Letter to the Editor: Walkout or political rally?