America sets itself apart from the rest of the world with its strong beliefs in the constitution. The Bill of Rights, in particular the first amendment, is fundamental for American society and violating someone’s constitutional rights is wholly un-American. Though, what does this mean in our polarizing political climate? Specifically, what does it mean to be a student in this time, who not only has to deal with the bureaucracy of the government, but a school’s administration as well?

Most would agree that some censorship is needed in daily life. This prevents us from saying what could possibly be hurtful statements and is a reminder to be empathetic. Taking the opinions of others into consideration is important to an extent, but where do you cross the line of censoring yourself for others? As Hewitt students, we like to consider ourselves a close knit community, but this does not negate the fact we are in New York City, a melting pot of cultures, where opinions vary widely. One Sophomore stated, “I feel like I can’t express myself the way that I want to in school because it would definitely be looked down upon”. Open minds and a healthy debate spirit is vital for modern liberty and freedom, two values that America prides itself on having. It takes courage to voice one’s own opinion in a setting that is not so open, but it just takes one person to change the dynamics of a place.  

In an era of “fake news” and “political correctness”, everyday it gets harder to navigate the choppy waters of discourse. Social media plays a major role in all PR, discourse, and politics that happens nowadays. Creating an age where every school has a social media outlet that is their main image for the public, it is hard for students to fully express themselves as anything could be posted. Though, a balance between taking photos and experiencing life first hand is needed. One Hewitt Upper Schooler candidly said, “I feel that the administration prevents the students from fully expressing themselves especially in topics related to race and class”. Students being asked to censor themselves for a photo, video or a passing tour is an occurrence that many students have heard about or experienced themselves. Having hard opinions that are easily digestible by many and not too radical seems to be the new expectation for our generation. This is an unattainable expectation, but with our generation of activists slowly making change it seems that the world will be a very different place in fifty years

Leave a Reply