AHS, Arlington, and the Black Lives Matter Movement

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Anne Hayman

Arlington High School is a Character Strong school.

Carson Rasmussen, Staff Reporter

Being the Best Human Being: AHS, Arlington, and the BLM Movement

This year, the Covid-19 pandemic has not only affected our education system, but also brought about other changes and challenges in our nation and our world. Whether it be the stay-at-home order for the quarantine, or the struggle of the store-front, we are all facing our own challenges and struggles during this time.

 

But as this time really kicks into the news and media, there is one group of people who rose up to fight for their rights. The Black Lives Matter, or BLM movement, was renewed in massive demonstrations across the nation and the world after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, while during an arrest, the actions of the police officer involved ended George Floyd’s life, and reignited the spark of mass BLM protests. 

 

As these protests began, an old problem from before began to rise to the surface. Peaceful protests begin to transform into violent riots, beginning a long string of media and news outlines about the violent protesting. This not only covers up or ignores the movement’s intentions, but breaks support for the movement as a whole. 

 

As the Arlington community, and as members of Arlington High School, we can support the Black Lives Matter movement in our state and country by educating ourselves, being respectful and responsible with what we say, and above all, being a good human being. 

 

One of the very first steps is to get better education on why these protests are happening. Mr. Ballew, teacher for the Social Justice class, said  “students can make up their minds about it, but they have to have an understanding of how these systems work that creates inequality in our country, that ultimately lead to organizations like Black Lives Matter.” 

 

We all need to have more understanding about the situations that are developing and the history behind why they’re happening. Not just relying on the media, which is often biased for selling points, but also researching on our own for these things, as pointed out by Sasha Segal, a senior and member of Mr. Ballew’s Social Justice Class.

 

The second step is to be respectful and responsible about how we talk about this movement. As outlined by senior Alicia Amezcua Toscano, the chair of the AHS Diversity council and member of Mr. Ballew’s Social Justice class, we should never appropriate the situations people of color face, as in we shouldn’t assume the situations they’re going through based on our experience or from our media. 

 

 Mattison Jenkins, another senior and member of the Diversity council, said it’s important that even if you don’t agree with the movement and their goals, it is still important to respect that everyone deserves a voice, and everyone deserves justice for any injustice done to them. 

 

Another important point of respect, pointed out by AHS senior Serena Whitley, is the importance of speaking about these movements in a mature manner, as this is a serious issue, and not something that needs to be joked about.

 

But probably the most important is to be the best human being to others that you can be. AHS principal Mr. Fish said, “regardless of the color of your skin, your heritage, ethnic background, race, religion, sexual orientation, we’re all human beings. And, at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, just be a good human, and if you have ways, to help us be good humans, we should be doing more of that.”