An Earth Day Poem

They cut from here and they planted there–

The phone call came at 7 in the morning

Rushed, heated and full of emotion

“They’re cutting them now”

Full of outrage, regret and memories

The response was unanimous

How could they?

Why would they?

A big girl recalled her past

And a different set of trees

Cleared to see more clearly beyond

She recalled a hammock

Full of fairy tales, full of games

And blinked away the memories

within the building tears

Later that day, the loss was mourned-

Gone was the potential of tree house gone were the cherry blossoms

Gone was the vehicle for climbing adventures

Gone was the privacy

Without a warning

(They cut from here)

Unasked and unwelcome

(Then they planted there)

Benefitting none but themselves

Liberating the silenced: The Power of Student Voice

Historically, when people are silenced, the universe rallies and advocates for them to be heard. Why? Because, especially here in the US, we believe that everyone everyone has a voice and that those voices deserve to be heard.

This is why, in my opinion, people appreciate the idea of democracy- the concept that the masses have a say in the decisions that affect them. In the US and other democratic nations around the world, the existence of the democratic philosophy sets the precedent of having those at the top listening to those who are affected by decisions made by those “admin.” Therefore, I believe that this should also apply in places other than the government, such as in teams, schools etc. I think getting feedback and input from different rungs in the hierarchical ladder is instrumental in strengthening communication, improving cooperation within the group and having an organization run happily, effectively and smoothly.

Some people believe that sure, democracy is fine, but allowing “subordinates” equal control with those “in power” is not realistic. In a way, I completely agree. As a student, I don’t presume to have a wealth of knowledge equal to that of my teachers. They have studied this material for far longer and in far more depth than I have. I simply believe that my input, in the areas in which I am informed, should be heard and at the very least, listened to. I believe everyone has the right and ability to enact change, to champion the needs and questions of their peers and to vie for a seat at the table in matters concerning them and their future. Age should not prevent students from exerting this right.

I am fortunate that at my school, teachers are open to these conversations, they appreciate feedback and are increasingly open to student thoughts and suggestions. Children are bold, sometimes I grant too bold, yet, the boldness should, usually, be encouraged. Boldness is a sign of confidence, trust in the leadership and a desire to share. Supporting the voices of the underrepresented encourages these positive qualities.

The bodies and minds of the future deserve a say in helping shape what they will receive eventually. Listening to the “young people” and the students is another facet of empowering the silenced. Hopefully, the idea of amplifying the voices of students will lead to initiatives targeted towards liberating the voices and upholding the idea of freedom of speech for other more severely oppressed groups all across the globe.