Here at RHS, the curriculum encourages having a voice, embracing individuality, and never being a bystander. Within the past week, conflict has tainted the school. Videos and rumors spread like wildfire, leaving RHS students to wonder what exactly is the truth. In a video of a fight that occurred on Tuesday February 7th, bystanders were shown (and can be heard) cheering and encouraging the fight. The boy who was beaten lay on the ground, and students rushed up to him, videotaping. It appears that not one person attempted to stop the fight or help the boy.
These conflicts cause us to forget who we are and what we stand for as a student body. This is disgusting. This is not who we are.
Remember Challenge Day?
Programs like those listed above are offered at the high school to peacefully resolve problems among students.
“[Challenge day is about] having a voice and speaking out against things, like the fights that occurred,” Hannah Simpson ‘18 said.
Romeo presents these programs to us so we learn to resolve our problems in a mature and harm-free manner. Seeing as we will soon be members of the adult world, working out conflict respectfully is a vital skill to have. Peer Mediation gives students a chance to talk out their dilemma face-to-face (another good skill) with a third party involved to oversee that the issue is resolved.
Much of our curriculum revolves around the idea of man’s indifference towards one another and the consequences of that. In our classes, we are taught to stand up for what is right. Mark Twain’s book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn features a boy fighting against the ideals of society to save a slave. The main character refuses to conform to societal standards in order to do what is right. In The Kite Runner, author Khaled Hosseini wrote about a boy who stood by while his friend suffered, and lived the rest of his life regretting not taking action. These novels are two of the works that encourage us to stand up for what is right.
As students in a community known for its unity, we have made the mistake of encouraging behavior that tears us apart. Every day, we are taught to be considerate of others perspectives and feelings. Circling up, videotaping, and cheering while two students fight is repulsive. Being a bystander is condoning such behavior.
Shame on us, for spreading a video of a fight rather than stopping it.
Shame on us, for being bystanders to violence.
Shame on us, for forgetting what we stand for as a community and a school.
This is disgusting. This is not who we are.