Letter to the Editor: Walkout or political rally?

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.