Last month, UAHS experienced a surge of discussions and assemblies, all having to do with the fine line between free speech and harassment. We— the co-Editors-in-Chief— would like to refer back to “Speech and Silence,” a story written by Jenny Jiao and Maeve O’Brien a month prior to these events and was extremely timely in its release on March 6. The Columbus Dispatch even referred to the article in its story “Upper Arlington confronts cyberbullying after girl steps forward,” released on March 11.
In America, there is a thin line between free speech and hate speech, which Jiao and O’Brien address in their article. Racial and homophobic slurs, as well as harassment of any person in general, do not create an environment or culture with which most people want to be associated. We implore our peers to choose love over hate and to accept those who are different from you.
Neil deGrasse Tyson once said, “You get to say the world is flat because we live in a country that guarantees free speech, but it’s not a country that guarantees that anything you say is correct.” Though he was referring to science, an issue our staff editorial will address on page 31, his words also ring true in this situation.
The discrimination of students at UAHS, whether it be about race, gender or sexuality, is unacceptable. In this issue, writers Hashem Anabtawi and Jane Eskildsen tackle the discrimination of those in the LGBTQ community. They detail the cases where those in the transgender community are harassed or even abused by their peers because of their identity. It is situations like these that we don’t necessarily see everyday at UAHS and we are all lucky to attend a relatively accepting school such as this one. Despite these, isolated instances of discrimination and lack of tolerance has led to an unstable environment for some students.
We ask that everyone attempts to put their best foot forward and be kind to one another to create a safe, healthy and welcoming school community for anyone who feels different.
Jane Eskildsen and Ella Koscher