LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Student voices are unfairly silenced

Published 3:44 pm Tuesday, September 17, 2019

This letter was originally intended to be a rebuttal for a certain Facebook post about the North Stanly incident, but I decided it would be beneficial for another perspective to be seen, one from a former student, someone who has actually stepped foot in a school in the past few years.

From personal experience, it is difficult to say the decision to not discipline the students, made by Dr. Jeff James, was not biased. If “participating” in high school is flaunting a conservative agenda while trying to peacefully voice your opinion on gun laws is not (March 2018), then there is a clear division between what is and is not accepted in Stanly County.

I have consistently seen comments on this issue that revolve around the topic of “if it can go one way (Democratic), it should be able to go the other (Republican),” but the fact of the matter is, it seems to, and continues to, only go one way.

The predominant majority of our county has forced a “freedom” to be anything other than progressive, or suddenly it is not a freedom at all. Those who speak of unfairness have not seen the true unfairness shown within the school system.

When you write a letter to the superintendent to discuss your grievances about an intentional 17-minute lockdown, and he has the audacity to come to the school, try and falsify your views, and tell you the issue is not about guns, a true unfairness is shown — an unfairness in which county authority continues to be politically biased toward every issue they encounter, an unfairness where acts of student expression are only verifiable by the student conduct if they lean toward a certain stance.

I want to bring attention to the irony of adults supporting the “active participation” of students in schools and government while simultaneously disapproving of “active participation” when it does not align with their ideals.

These kids, such as those at North, you defend by mentioning their ongoing development are not the only kids becoming your next generation. There are kids out there who are forming views that conflict with those held by the majority in Stanly County.

Who are you to silence their voices while only allowing the voices you want to hear?

Saying this, I want to change the all-so-sudden popular response to “if it can not go one way, then it should not go the other,” because it never went Democratic, it is not Democratic, and it obviously never will be Democratic.

Stanly County has became a place where a certain criteria must be met to be classified as “right,” where political stance and religion have been unnecessarily intertwined, and where the act of creating new thoughts lacks depth and perspective.

Remember that while you are supporting students such as those at North, there are other students who continue to be unfairly silenced. They, too, are part of your next generation.

Jared Caddell