Letter to the editor submitted by Jake Karetsky, Greenwich High School
First I’d like to make a few things clear. I’m not an advocate for gun control. I think that gun laws have already encroached over the 2nd Amendment’s boundaries. I don’t support increased school security. I feel that it would function as “security theater”, making people feel safer without actually making them safer. And I definitely don’t support arming teachers. Essentially, I’m against most of the recent school and gun policy proposals from both sides of the aisle.
So the intensely apolitical Greenwich High School student rally on March 14th should have been exactly the thing I was looking for, right?
No. It wasn’t even close.
I have a lot of friends who like to discuss politics; there are almost always people on both sides of a debate at the lunch table. Some of those friends went to “March for Our Lives” events on the weekend of March 24. One went with a “Make America Great Again” hat and a pro-gun sign. All of them are awesome. They make their voices heard.
On March 14th, there were literally thousands of students who wanted to make a definitively political statement. A likely plurality wanted to make a Democratic point. Quite a few others wanted to make a Republican point. They all wanted to make a democratic point: Students do have a political voice and can make an impact.
On March 14th, I wanted to see division at GHS. I wanted to see people upset that the “other side” was expressing their views. I wanted to hear thousands of voices shouting. Talk about a practical civic education. I didn’t want to hear a bugle playing Taps and a couple of insipid speeches from student government leaders who I know for a fact hold powerful political opinions yet were prevented from expressing those opinions by the nature of the school-sponsored event. I don’t personally have a strong political opinion on the issue. But I’ll defend to no end the rights of my fellow students to have and voice their own opinions, whatever they are.
The rally was a failure. Not because of what it was, but because of what it wasn’t. Because of what it should have been.
Shame on the GHS administration for the way they handled the situation. And quite frankly, shame on the GHS student body for the way they accepted the situation. If you so desperately want a political voice, you might have to break some rules and cross some lines.
I love to see democracy in action. Not inaction.
Greenwich High School