Bigotry in School — OPINION

Bigoted phrases litter the school setting without much consequence, making it appear as though it’s acceptable behavior.

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Ariel Clark

While many teachers’ rooms advocate for unity, students still find ways to voice their negative thoughts without consequence most of the time.

Ariel Clark, Editor

While walking the halls of the AHS as a senior, I’ve taken notice of the sheer number of people that use bigoted terms while talking with their friends between classes. As someone who identifies as part of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s bothersome to hear such blatant offensive comments used in ways that impact me and people I know.  Whether this is due to ignorance or genuine hatred towards minorities, it shouldn’t be acceptable for people to label things that upset them as “gay” or “joke” about someone’s gender and life choices.  

From personal experience, I have witnessed students huddle together like a little ball of immaturity as they gossip about people (whether in this school or not) who openly identify as LGBTQ+. While our school does express a “safe environment,” it can be difficult to report these behaviors due to the nature of the incidents. Sometimes you may not know a student’s name and other times you may just think, “Well, they only said it a handful of times and they aren’t actively aggressive.”

Nevertheless, ignoring “minor” comments can be toxic, since it can lead to aggressors becoming more bold and assertive with their detrimental mindset.  Students might be too scared to report a person that expresses derogatory terms because they fear being found out as the one who turned in the report.

Despite AHS having a rather diverse mix of students and teachers when it comes down to those on the LGBT spectrum, there is an intense lack of care directed towards people who use hostile language. I recommend teachers stop condoning this behavior and actually dish out punishments rather than a simple “Hey, stop that,” which only lasts for about five minutes before the students are back at it again.

The lack of discipline used on people who suppress others is appalling. Until instructors can properly handle these students, negative behavior will only fester and many students will still find themselves on the receiving end of  painful and insulting “jokes.”