The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

The Student News Site of Granada High School

The Pomegranate

Grabbing Life by the Horns

Why Can’t We Get Rid of Hate Speech on Campus?

Why+Cant+We+Get+Rid+of+Hate+Speech+on+Campus%3F

Hate speech and bullying have been prevalent in the district for a long time. Many believe that bullying goes away when you move from middle to high school, but that’s not entirely true. Around the GHS campus slurs and rude comments are thrown around casually and often. There have been attempts to reduce this, but none have proved particularly effective. 

As freshmen, students take a class called Freshman in Transition (FIT). The class is intended to not only acclimate students to high school life but form a sense of community. While students participate in fun and lighthearted activities, they also watch documentaries and attend lectures about bullying and harassment. There is some controversy present on whether FIT is an effective way of creating a healthy community in Granada. 

Sophomore Charlie Hertz said that the class is “targeting the wrong people… the people who I’ve seen bullying people… are the ones who sat in the back of the class and laughed.” This sentiment is shared by many students. The bullying talks seem to only get through to victims of harassment, while perpetrators hardly pay attention. 

Another event that takes place during FIT classes is the “suicide panel.” Students gather in the little theater (there is no big theater anyway) and listen to staff members share their experiences with depression and suicide. Some students believe the panel to be helpful, while others think that it is too emotionally heavy for a school event. One student said that he “saw both sides of that… I saw it to be useful… it helped me grow my knowledge without going through the hard way.” He then went on to talk about the flip side of that, saying that someone he knows “was going through a lot of traumatic events at the time… and that [the panel] kind of triggered her.” So while it can be informative, perhaps toning down the content of the lecture would make it safer for everyone involved. 

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Outside of FIT, there have been other attempts to bring the hate speech issue to light. The Granada club known as “Humans Against Hate” has done multiple displays in the past few years. One consisted of a number of chairs set out in the quad, each with a quote about bullying taped to it. The question is whether or not this was actually effective.

Sophomore Freyjaa Kirti stated, “I think the issue is that people who are usually on the… bullying end of the thing never actually receive the message.” She then went on to say that “a lot of these people won’t be endeared or emotionally moved by the chairs.” This seems to be a very common idea among students. The displays are nice, but they don’t get the message across. The only ones who care are the students who would whether the chairs were there or not.

So if FIT doesn’t have a real effect, and neither does Humans Against Hate, what is the answer? The root of the problem has made itself very apparent. We need to stop appealing to emotions because that simply doesn’t work. The school needs to do something real and put genuine preventative measures into place. Stop this from happening, and have there be real consequences when it does happen. Until this issue is properly addressed, nothing will change. 

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About the Contributor
Angel Pepper, Reporter
Angel Pepper is the president of the GHS Dead Poets Society, alongside being a member of Drama Club and the Workers’ Rights Club. They joined journalism in their sophomore year of high school. In their free time, Angel enjoys reading and writing, as well as drawing.

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