Political talk condemned when unpopular


Lara Cayci

We can’t silence ourselves when it comes to politics. Everyone must speak up for there to be a positive outcome.

Political talk in the halls and classrooms comes with a common social risk, the fear of an opinion being wrong, or the unpopular opinion that most students in this liberal school won’t agree with the viewpoint. People can react to political talk in many different ways; it becomes difficult to be aware of everyone and to know how others will interpret comments on particular political subjects. These topics can be very controversial and are all over the news, but talking about them in class or in the halls isn’t as common. I can’t relate to how those feel with the unpopular, conservative opinion, but as students we all should still be sharing our thoughts and opinions because we can do that at our school. There have been moments where I am afraid to speak up because I hear my classmates who have different views make snarky remarks to another classmate’s comment on a controversial topic.

People associate with those who have similar views or they don’t talk about their opinions with friends who have different views than they do. Talking about politics isn’t always good or need to happen, but it isn’t healthy to avoid political conversation when political decisions are such a big part of our lives every day. The divide between Republicans and Democrats is at the highest point in 25 years. Donald Trump’s presidency has separated the two parties farther apart. This has definitely had an effect in our own school community.

In the SPA community, the one side of views don’t seem like they have a chance or space for them to be heard. In classrooms, teachers and students shoot down that one side of views. Teachers do this so there isn’t an argument, but students do this because they don’t want to hear the other side, or they’re too narrow minded to hear a different opinion than their own. I would and still act narrow minded to some opinions, but I am trying to make a better effort to hear out another perspective. Students in the community look down upon opinions that don’t correspond with their own, but also don’t hear out their classmates.

An example of political talk being looked down upon is the Opinion Board. The actual opinion board itself is used appropriately most of the time. The opinion board is run by the USC, which already gives it a student perspective, rather than an adult’s perspective. It is a good outlook for students to share opinions and thoughts on anything they desire. It can be political, controversial, humorous, informative or just an announcement. The board allows for a platform to speak up by writing a piece about an issue. It can be easier to express thinking in writing. It isn’t right when others take down pieces, or when the person who speaks their opinion is teased or looked down upon for their opinion. We can’t discourage opinions and thoughts; we can only learn and grow our minds. Yes, there is a difference when someone says something offensive and reacting to that is fine, but it has to be done with respect for the other person.

Our opinions and thoughts should be spoken clearly and well.”

To help this cause of speaking out and sharing our thoughts and ideas, the encouragement must start in the classroom. Teachers should be addressing current events in classes when there is a big news story that is all over the news, that also relates to that class. Taking 10-15 minutes to address the news can make a real effect and get the students on task because the story has already been addressed. Students also need to speak up, but others should keep their thoughts to themselves, unless they do have a question or an appropriate comment to shame or embarrass the student.

Our opinions and thoughts should be spoken clearly and well. Students need to keep speaking their mind, but in a mannered way. We will only learn from each other if we explore different thoughts, perspectives and opinions. We also need to be respectful to each other in the SPA community. In the U.S., the two major parties are split from each other, but we can’t let our views separate us and make us ignorant.

If someone has a different view, engage in a respectful conversation about it. If that can’t happen thoughtfully and respectfully, then walk away and don’t engage. Respect others, keep speaking mannerly, and be open to other thoughts and opinions.