The Worst Thing About Censorship is...
“Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”
This is the first amendment of the United States Constitution. Unfortunately, this is a law that many people still try to argue. The Cricket Chirps staff thoroughly believes in this amendment.
Every day we as students are asked to think critically about history, about the world and about all kinds of topics - then when we express views on these topics we are often told that we aren’t old enough, or educated enough to have an opinion - because we are kids. In the view of some adults, students participating in political action such as walk outs and other protests, don’t actually understand what they’re doing. But we do.
As Americans, freedom of speech is an integral part of our identity. Not everyone in the world has the same rights we do, and without doubt this is part of what makes our country great. Now, that doesn’t mean all free speech is protected speech.
With the rise of hate speech in our current political climate, often times derogatory, or racist words are being used under the guise of free speech. The concept of freedom of speech is meant to protect us from the government, not from the opinions of others. You can say whatever you want, but other people don’t have to like it, and don’t have to listen.
We believe firmly in the importance of speech without censorship for all. In today’s world there is a lot of fake news out there, and when our president attacks the media it causes people to lose faith. Worse, when we question the news, we take away their power to call into question the performance of those with power over us. This is dangerous because a primary role of journalism is to act as a watchdog - to make sure citizens know what is going on, and to bring awareness to important issues.
With students becoming politically involved since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, some adults (many online) have called for students to sit down, and be quiet. They don’t want to hear what teenagers have to say about current events. They don’t value our thoughts because we are young, but just because we are still in high school doesn’t mean we don’t have valid views that should be taken into consideration. We are growing up in this world, and before you know it we will be working in it, raising families in it, and building on it.
We are your next voting population. Soon you won’t have a choice, but to listen to us.