Right Cause, Wrong Reasons

Some students don’t understand the impact of attending the walkout for the wrong reasons

Anika Paulette, Staff Writer

     A few weeks ago, I found myself standing outside in the middle of a chilly January afternoon in support of our teachers. The walkout had started out on the football field in the back of the school, and the crowd seemed pretty legitimate. As more people arrived and we relocated to the front lawn, I started growing a bit more suspicious of some people there. Once the protest was in full swing, looking around me I started to think, “Maybe some people aren’t here for the right reasons. No, no that’s probably only a few of them.”

A lot of people seemed to have no idea what they were standing up for, and were out there to mess around rather than to protest.”

— Anika Paulette

     In my time with the protest, I heard a lot of good conversation, but it was hard to hear over all the meaningless, off-topic jabber. People were talking about the recent Chiefs win. People were talking about how happy they were to get out of class. It was all just…quite disappointing. I never voiced my annoyance of course, as I was more focused on the task at hand, and just decided to stick near to the people I knew were out there for the right reason. I still heard concerning things though:

     “I’m so glad I got out of class for this.”

     “I actually hate my teachers but…red for ed I guess.”

     My arms were crossed, but more out of annoyance rather than the chilly weather. This behavior is something that a lot of people can find frustrating.

     Upon re-entering the school, I was met with a nasty surprise. A snowball was aimed and successfully hit me in the back of the neck, and the cold shock was an unwelcome surprise. I glared daggers over my shoulder in the general direction that I suspected the object had flown at me from. Upon re-entering the school and rubbing the last of the cold water from my neck, I sat down with my friends to eat lunch, curious as to why many had chosen not to come out. Most of them cited classes they couldn’t miss or a feeling that the walkout “wasn’t in the right place” as their reasoning, but someone else’s perspective caught my attention.

     “A lot of people just came out to skip class,” she had told me. “It was all over Snapchat.”

     Honestly, as sad as it is to say, I wasn’t surprised. It had been a sneaking suspicion in the back of my head most of the time I was out there. A lot of people seemed to have no idea what they were standing up for, and were out there to mess around rather than to protest.

     This type of disrespect really does make me angry, as it does have worse repercussions than most people tend to think. It makes people take movements and protests less seriously, and overall makes some people assume that the school doesn’t really care about the cause. We need to treat this matter with more respect.