RNE News

The Saber

RNE News

The Saber

RNE News

The Saber

OPINION: Change starts with us

Students voiced their concerns regarding gun violence and safety in the RNE community in a ‘Town Hall’ held on Feb. 28.
In light of recent tragedy, Principal Mark Sims and RNE administrators respond to student concerns in a ‘Town Hall’ on Feb. 28.

(Editor’s note: Alyssa Amaker is editor-in-chief for The Saber.  Any opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Saber staff.)

Phone in hand, I walked up to the first row of seats, hurriedly typing every question that had been circulating in my mind for the last few months. I typed like my life depended on it— and maybe it did.

Gun violence in the surrounding RNE community has experienced an uptick in the past decade. Over the past four years, several students have died due to gun-related incidents and left an unforgettable mark on the student body with each of their passings. Unfortunately, safety and violence prevention have become all too normal topics of conversation among us students. With the recent passing of a Northeast student in the neighborhood behind our school, I was grateful to hear that a town hall was being held to allow my peers and I to express our concerns, remorse, and questions regarding the administration’s plan for action. This time I expect more than just an email back.

I knew that my life, my safety, and the future of RNE students could only be protected by the voices of the people in that room. But when it came time for us to line up at the microphone to speak, I looked around: half of the crowd seemed to be buried in their phones too… but when questions were asked and answers were given, they didn’t look up to listen. 

They just clapped when others were clapping, signed a clipboard ensuring their excused absence, and went on scrolling and texting their friends.

The ones who did look up, however, made their passion known. As much as I agreed with some of their fiery concerns about communication, early morning locations, and our general lack of school spirit, I couldn’t help but notice how divided we were as a student body.

Some of us were passionate, others weren’t. Some were respectful, while others spoke recklessly in an inappropriate, immature, and senseless manner. With this much anger, I knew that there had to be some school spirit left in the heart of RNE. Maybe people still cared about one another and our school community. But a foul mouth often spoils the fruit it bears.

And with no definitive date scheduled for another town hall, I wondered if we were missing our only chance at uniting every grade in pursuit of solutions to the problems that we face everyday.

What good will come of this town hall? That’ll be up to us.

I have full faith in the administration and their willingness to try to make our community safe and aware in the wake of recent tragedy, but the leadership shown by the handful of students who spoke up shouldn’t make a one time appearance.

We should rally behind our representatives, student government officials and classroom leaders alike, and make this conversation the basis of our effort towards making RNE a better place. This town hall can’t be the end. Monthly meetings open to the entire student body could spur new ideas for student action and create excitement for after school activities while boosting Cavalier pride. A draft proposal of our recommended changes to school policy or administrative approaches could solidify our position and grant us some credibility in the eyes of authority.

RNE’s future began the moment we stepped outside those auditorium doors; let’s make it ours.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Alyssa Amaker
Alyssa Amaker, Editor-in-Chief
She’s a senior in the IB Diploma program, a student journalist for the Saber online newspaper, and an active part of many clubs around campus including Senior House, Book Club, Gear-Up, and more. After high school, she plans on double majoring in education and English with a minor in French to pursue her passion for teaching modern literature. Outside of school she enjoys reading, writing, and listening to music. If you see her in the hallway, there’s a 99.9% chance that she has her headphones on and a book in hand.

Comments (1)

All The Saber Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • K

    Kirsten AlexanderMar 16, 2024 at 7:36 PM

    I 1000% agree!