Sitting to Take a Stand

A growing number of students are making a controversial decision to protest injustice.

Sitting+to+Take+a+Stand

Kat Paleogos, Staff Writer

In light of recent events, specifically regarding racial injustice, we are seeing various forms of protests in our country, many of which spark controversy. Back in 2016, Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel for the national anthem caused outrage by multitudes. Another wave of protesting has begun and is subsequently making its way at PLHS, its most prominent manifestation being the refusal to stand up for the Pledge of Allegiance. 

While the student body here at PLHS has mixed opinions on the topic of remaining seated during the Pledge, it is important to recognize why those who do not choose to stand make that decision.

When asked about this method of protest, student activists have a variety of responses.

“I am the only one in my classroom that stays seated,” junior Teah Showell said. “It’s a personal decision based on my personal beliefs.”

Luckily, we attend a school where we are able to express our opinions peacefully and make our own decisions. 

“I sit [for the pledge] because it is my civil and human right to stand up for what I believe in,” senior Trystan Wahl said. “Staying seated for the pledge is among the most peaceful forms of protest.”

 People recognize that the right to protest peacefully is protected in the First Amendment, however, there is disagreement on whether or not sitting for the pledge is morally correct.

“People definitely see it as a disrespectful action,” Showell said. “But it is not because what the Pledge of Allegiance implies is not yet a reality.”

A majority of protesters take this action due to the racial injustice prevalent in America. The controversy this action has caused serves as a reminder that combatting racism is not prioritized the way it must be. 

“I think it’s more disrespectful to care more about the method of protest than the injustices that led to our protesting,” Wahl said. “Systemic racism is finally being brought to light, and with the 2020 Presidential candidates’ debate topics, so is sexism and homophobia. All of these blatant forms of hate also take place in our school.”

The general agreement among those who sit for the Pledge of Allegiance, is that America fails to deliver its promise to provide “liberty and justice” for all. Regardless of spectator opinions, these protests will not end anytime soon unless we take the time to fight the many injustices residing in our nation.