The right to free speech

Administrators at WF High support student expression in myriad ways

Most are aware of the Women’s Marches that occurred across the country, protesting the decisions being mulled over by the government. Those marches took strength, courage and bravery to participate in.
Even though the protest that occurred in our very own halls may not seem on the same caliber as other recent protests and marches, its participants had to show the same amount of spirit.
The students protesting did so on behalf of fellow student, Micah Speed. A video surfaced on social media showing Speed and another student get into a verbal, then physical, altercation. Below this video originally posted to Instagram, a friend of Speed’s wrote a paragraph describing the motivations of the two students.
The post led to administrative actions that many students objected to. Several students took to the halls to protest the length of Speed’s suspension.
On the day of the protest, the students concurring with Speed’s response to his punishment wore black and sat quietly inside the main hallway. The students were encouraged by the administration to share their concerns and ask questions about the entirety of the situation.
To those who protested, the members of the Forest Fire Staff applaud you. It takes a wealth of spirit to rally against an issue, especially during school hours and for such a cause as this. We believe that this protest was done for the right reasons. The protest was peaceful and seemed to get the point across that this school and its student body will not stand for racially charged comments and actions.
But not only do we praise the students, we also applaud the administration.
Members of the school’s administration took time to listen and respond to the students’ concerns. Along with being respectful of the opinions of students, the administration also allowed the right to freedom of speech, which is not always given without cost by other schools in our state and the nation.
At other schools, teachers and staff are not supportive to the right of freedom of speech. At our school, this right is given freely and this right is very much encouraged by our school’s teachers and staff. Without this acceptance, these students would not have been able to confidently protest for a just cause, and they would not have been able to see a result.
Without similar support, our newspaper would not be able to publish articles such as this that applaud both the student body and those that run the school. Because the school’s administration emphasizes the rights of all people, we are eternally grateful.