No school: (almost) No politics


Liam Sterling

The election has become a war of signs–not a war in the classroom.

by Liam Sterling, Reporter

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Anyone at school has seen political extremism, whether it be trucks with flags, t-shirts with political slogans, or hats. Most argue that these strong statements are adapted from family and friends and reinforced in the media.

One benefit of virtual school?

Right now, political polarization is missing from school because kids aren’t there. The most anyone can see in Google Meets or digital calls are occasional flags in the background, but it seems that most kids are too shy to put on their cameras. The last eight months of campaigning taking place during time at home meant students weren’t wearing their favorite red hats and t-shirts from shops like Trump or Biden’s shops.

“It was pretty common to see people in things like MAGA hats or Biden t-shirts, things like that in my school,” said Walkersville High School student Hunter Ferguson.

However, some kids just want to go to school and get out. Teachers don’t want to deal with fights either. In between classes they have to prepare, get grades in, and ensure that students are getting what they need done.  It’s a relief not to be monitoring conflict among students.

“I personally don’t care at all about the election, but I know a lot of people do, especially this year. I think a lot of kids want to make sure that what has been happening continues, or that it stops,” said junior Jack McCoy

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own opinion, because discourse is a part of democracy. However, what we’re dealing with are people who sometimes don’t care about others’ well-being.  This goes beyond free speech. Some people say that they won’t be okay in the country if someone that they don’t like wins the election.

Since the election is only days away, this is the time that school conflict would be at it’s worst.  Maybe that’s not true–it might be worst the week following the election.  The news forecasts possible vote counting delays.

“This is, in my opinion, one good thing about online school. People that just need to get things done without face to face interaction have no problems. Most kids are shy online for whatever reason and there doesn’t seem to be any hostility in any of my classes,” said junior Matthew Zingeser.

By skipping school this year, we’re skipping the kids fighting about politics. We’re skipping the hostility and verbal abuse  in school.  It’s still a problem in social media, though, where the sense of anonymity makes others willing to speak out.