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Is school the right place for activism

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IT SEEMS that student activism is currently at a high point here in America. With the recent events at Parkland, students are now rising up to see a change. While the Parkland students are ruling the news, there is plenty of student activism here at Granger.

There are plenty of reasons and topics for student activism, and current student Mckelynn Barber (12) has found hers and is looking to spread the word around Granger with the introduction of a new club.

“I wanted to make a club where the goal is to have African American students come and be more involved with each other, and be more involved with the community. I think there’s this stigma that African American kids are just dead beats and we’re going to drop out and I want to change that… I’m just figuring out the presidency and finding an advisor for the club for it to get started,” said Barber.

Apart from a change being made within the school, many students have realized how easy it is for change to be discussed and started through the use of social media. Leslie Sandoval (9)  is pushing this change online.

“The reason I became so passionate about changing the idea of inequality is because when I was growing up I saw the injustice around me and the community and thought that it had to change. The new presidency we have also causes others to see different and it angers me to see that in my community. I have a blog, but most of my movement is from posts on social media,” Sandoval said.

In the history books, it is commonly seen that schools are used as a tool to combat oppression and bring change. It happened with the civil rights movement with several sit-ins and walkouts, and most recently in Parkland, Florida where students from the Stoneman Douglas High School spoke out against the gun laws in our country.

As student activism is now at the forefront of many news stations around the country, there are many mixed opinions on the way that students are handling their movements on and off their school campuses. Here at Granger, those movements can expect to be greeted with open arms.

“It can be hard to express all of your opinions here at school because it is school. We do restrict some freedom of speech because students cannot disrupt the education of other students. As long as these activities are done in a peaceful and non-disruptive manner, the school will have the students’ backs,” Mr. Beck said.

Despite many of the motives behind student activism being rooted in injustice, there are some students who believe that there are some positive reasons for change. Manuel Tolayo(12) finds an entertaining way of bringing the community together.

“The way people act and the way people think are totally different these days. We need to bring everyone into that same mindset of community not just for us but for the future generations. I am bringing together many artists in this group called Kollective where I bring singers, rappers, photographers, designers, etc. so that we can bring a beautiful image in a place so rough to bring hope to others,” said Tolayo.

Not all students see student activism as passionately as other students, but still see the need to be informed in today’s society. If the saying ‘knowledge is power’ rings true, then student Flaviana Hawley (12) is surely on top of it.

“I just think that there is so much going on these days that if you aren’t at least informed on current events you will get lost in many of the conversations going on. It’s a crazy world so I just like to stay woke,” Hawley said.

Much of the student activism that goes on at Granger goes unseen, but although it is hidden it is still going on strong. Student activist Sierra Aston (12) tends to work silently in her battles for change.

“I think society needs to change big time. We have adults who want us to think like adults and then when we finally do we are told we are nothing but some kids. The adults are letting us down and it shouldn’t be this way. I don’t put on the events myself when I participate I usually hear or see something about a walk out or a protest and I go and help. I think the want for change is not selective it should be for everyone,” Aston said. Whether our society will change for better or for worse is yet to be seen, but there is no denying that students around the country are working for the change. Student activism has been around for quite some time and it seems like it is in safe hands here at Granger High.

an open forum for student expression
Is school the right place for activism