Students must respect their right to protest and share opinions

FREEDOM of speech is one of the most important rights Americans have. The First amendment states, “congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

A peaceful assembly to show grievances towards the government has always made large impacts in history.

But keeping the protest peaceful is the most important part. In history, many brave and noble people used a peaceful protest to get their opinion out there. Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and many more saw problems in society and demanded change.

One of the rising problems a large group of people are facing is their protests getting out of hand and becoming violent. March 14th was the nationwide student walkout.

The protest was to demand more strict gun laws and to remember those who have been lost in mass shootings. However, many students abused this right and decided to go out and talk with their friends.

People that join a protest for the intention of getting what they want instead of what the people want are ruining the protests. Many protests over the years have slowly turned into riots. There is a big problem with this and that’s why most schools choose to ban the protests or go against them. Taylorsville High School banned the students from walking out during Trump’s election. If a student walked out, they’d be marked absent.

At Granger, however, students are allowed to go out and march. Allowing people to speak is a big reason why the U.S. is a great country. The government can learn and adapt with the help of the people’s voices. A person can tell a protester that their opinion sucks and a protester can keep protesting. Everyone has an opinion and a voice.

Sometimes people having a voice is a bad thing, though. “Some people don’t really take it serious,” Dayana Moricco (10) said.

For example, a large group of college students were furious with a speaker that would be visiting on campus, so they prevented the speaker from coming in by shouting and yelling at them. Being able to let someone speak instead of protesting them is very important.

“Sometimes a person’s opinions or values get in the way from learning others’ views,” said Magan Nelson (10).

Having a discussion about what needs to be done and protesting is a very important way to change people’s minds, but if it gets out of hand it can become a problem. Most protesters don’t feel like they won’t change anything. “People don’t have hope to change things,” Kalia Gallagher (10) said.

It’s hard to think that one person can make a change. Some people feel like they are not going to be as powerful as Martin Luther King or the women’s suffrage movement. This lack of dedication and motivation is what leads to people not wanting to share their views or participate in what they truly believe in. Some people are afraid of the protest getting out of hand and turning into a riot.

Other people feel like getting involved in a protest means they have to agree with what the protest is about. Sometimes a person can agree with what a protest believes but not be a part of it because of the other issues. Some people didn’t walk out because they were pro-gun but watched the video to remember the students.

Some people felt judged for not walking out or being a part of the protest. Whether it’s a protestor or not, people still have their freedom of speech and it should never be interfered with.

In almost every nation outside the U.S. has no freedom of speech. Even in Canada there are strong laws against free speech. The U.S. is very lucky to give people the voice they desperately desire. People that want change can use their voice for the change.

People that don’t want change can vote and say what they want. Even online many people can voice their opinions and people that don’t want to hear it can block them.