All Voices Matter: speak your mind

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In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

In her weekly column, All Voices Matter, staff reporter Aviance Pritchett gives her take on social and cultural issues.

Every American is bestowed certain rights the minute they are born as freedom of speech, protest and press are found in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. These are also the rights we use on a daily basis, especially our right to say what we please. But when it comes to school, it could be said that we are restricted from speaking our minds.

This is not to say that school keeps us from talking altogether but when it comes to defending ourselves and our opinions, students are sometimes met with “you’re going to the office!” or “don’t talk back to me!” or some other variation of that by teachers or other staff members. To some students, it doesn’t seem like a big deal because it’s school and students have to follow the rules. But sometimes it’s okay to speak up.

This doesn’t mean being irresponsible; it means that if something seems unfair, go ahead and speak up. Provide reasonings calmly, but have enough of a clear voice to make others want to hear what it is being said. This doesn’t mean screaming about how good and grand an opinion is and how any other contrary opinion is invalid and open to be ignored.

Freshman, sophomore, junior, senior–whatever grade, there is no too old or too young to share an opinion. We are the new generation. Our opinions matter. We’re the ones responsible for the latest trends. We’re the ones making songs that are boosting up the charts. We aren’t afraid to create, so why are we so afraid to speak up?

When a teacher hosts an open discussion, there is no right or wrong answer. Students should be able to say what they feel without being judged by anyone. When a survey asks how for a personal opinion, be honest and don’t be afraid to answer. All voices matter. No one should be influencing or forcing a person to say something, it’s a personal opinion: yours. Some may agree and some may not, but in the end it’s all about how a person feels.