An atmosphere of ignorance

Hannah Orr, Co-Editor

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At first glance, New Prague High School seems like your average small-town high school. We have a relatively good reputation, with strong academics, successful extracurriculars, and kind staff and students. However, upon closer inspection, our school has one critical issue that may need to be acknowledged more fully: the consistent throwing around of slurs and symbols that bleed only hate, insensitivity, and ignorance.

Recently, it was found that a student made the decision to carve a swastika, a Nazi symbol, into a mirror in the boys’ bathroom. The mirror was taken down and the bathroom was closed immediately following the discovery of the carving; however, I am a bit disappointed in the utter lack of acknowledgment shown to this act of vandalism. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should be giving attention and fame to those who are doing awful things like this. They deserve no peer recognition for their actions, but I do believe they need a bit more authoritative recognition. Since entering high school as a young freshman, I’ve been seeing these same repeated activities for four whole years. Drawings on desks, derogatory social media posts, the slur-filled yells across the locker bank. And how much action or intervention have I seen in my four years? Very, very minimal. I remember one email being sent out after a non-white student filed a complaint, stating that they no longer felt comfortable in our school’s atmosphere. One lousy email is all I can remember for four years of offensive activity, hate speech, and blatant ignorance.

It’s time for a change at our school; we need someone to educate our students and truly engrain in their brains the message they’re putting out into the void. For example, on the topic of the swastika-clad mirror: I truly don’t think students understand what it means. Yes, most students know it symbolizes Jewish hate, but do they really understand it’s no joke? That it symbolizes not just hate and inequality, but a full-on genocide and white supremacy? Newsflash for whoever decided to take minutes of your precious time to not just draw, but carve, that disgusting symbol into the mirror: It doesn’t make you look cool. It’s not “dark humor”. It makes you hateful, unaccepting, and quite frankly, blatantly ignorant. And who knows, maybe you knowingly support that particular agenda, and my exasperated words won’t change that. I just hope that maybe my message here is clear: we NEED to put an end to this never-ending cycle. Nothing is ever going to change if we ignore it, and that’s exactly what’s happening. No one ever deserves to feel that their existence is minimized or unwanted, so please, let’s bring this issue into the light and put an end to the ignorance.