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Why the ASB-Planned School Activities Left a Bad Taste in Students' Mouths

On Wednesday morning, March 14, students, staff, and administrators at SHS acted against violence in spreading love and unity, and discussing how standing together as a school against violence and remaining safe and loving everybody would prevent future school shooters and other acts of violence on campus.

The question running through this journalist’s mind, as well as much of the student body, is this: was this the right move by the school during a day of national, widespread walkouts in the United States?

According to senior Bethany Shade, "[The ASB, with direction from the administration] "took the power away from the student body yesterday by changing the narrative from a student-driven protest for us to choose to stand up for a cause that we believe in; being protected in schools and standing against school violence.

After several years with the leadership classes at SHS, I believe that the two student speakers, alongside the picture taken on the football field shortly after ten that morning, and the video shown to hundreds of students across campus, was largely the work of the five current ASB officers, all juniors, and their senior predecessors, after being called into a meeting and being told directly by administration that the events were to be “student-led”.

Does that sound like the activities were student-led if only leadership students planned the event?

Many students, including myself, are also positive that besides student accounts in the video, there was little to no input from other members of a student body that in number is close to seventeen hundred people, leaving the acronym for the associated student body largely without the “student body” part, and instead only showcasing the ideas of “associated” individuals.

During the optional speeches and video, students had the option to sit in the student commons or in the library, and after hearing the first speech, this reporter went to the commons to see just how many students were not attending that day’s events.

Hardly an empty seat in the commons (which fits close to eight hundred students during one of the school’s two lunches), I interviewed several students and faculty members, who explained that today was not supposed to be about love and unity, and that there was a lot of miscommunication about what Wednesday was about.

History teacher Sherlyn Umperovitch said Wednesday that she was “really confused by how many students [were] not participating,” and walked around the commons, asking students why they chose not to participate in the various assemblies.

While some students may think that it takes more than close to a dozen leadership students to change the bell schedule, this is not the case at SHS, as assemblies for spirit and recognition are largely student-planned, with time slots carved out for them at the request of administration, and most assemblies spearheaded by the ASB student body vice president and students of activities director Vince Ivelia’s advanced leadership classes.

 “If we do nothing, nothing will happen,” said senior Katelyn Randal on the topic of gun reform in the United States. “I can understand why the school can’t take a point, but don’t take our points away from us.”

After experiencing not only the events that many students from all grade levels thought were a waste of class time, and hearing much outcry from the public against the actions taken by the SHS ASB and administration, a proper showcase of public opinion and freedom of speech would be welcome to students and staff at SHS in the coming weeks, with students abandoning fear of consequence and willing to be punished for the causes they believe in in order to make a statement.