An upstander is someone who stands up for things in which they believe is right. An upstander is someone who does not stand on the sidelines waiting for the event to happen. They are leaders, not bystanders. As Scroll Editors, we are faced with the question of how we can change the culture of the Middle School to make it acceptable to either confront those who are breaking the rules or come forward to an adult. During recent incidents involving vaping and the use of marijuana, the student body did not work as a collective body and come forward to the administration regarding this issue. The administration did not start investigating this event about two months after the incident happened.
We must clarify to all that as a student body we must stand together and not huddle into many different friend groups. As a student body, we must be one. We must become a community which promotes the ASL core values. By doing that, the administration does not force people to come forward but instead, places trust in the student collective body that they will come forward for the greater good of the students. As we stand at the altar of the student body, we must promote collectivity.
In the Middle School Handbook, there is a Rights and Responsibilities section where it states, “ You have the right to be free from bullying, labeling, harassment and hurtful behavior. Further, you must not permit anyone to frighten or harass another member of our community. If you do not take action, such as telling an adult, when you know this is happening then you are participating in the oppression and are just as guilty. You have the responsibility to act.” This means that there should be a change in culture within the Middle School and it needs to come from us, the students, and not teachers or the administration forcing rules on the students which do not make any sense or they impose ideas and ideologies which do not benefit the community as a whole. We as the student body must not ignore these rules but must report to the administration or an adult
Regardless of who is in your friend group or groups, our collective future depends on our willingness to uphold your obligations as a student and as a member of the ASL community. Hence, we must work together as one large team and never bend to the challenges that face the community. To stand up for others, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable.
As Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” We must follow the path and work together.
As the Student Council President, Isabella Muri said, “An upstander is a person who isn’t scared to stand alone, when faced with the challenges that come with being part of a community. It’s someone who embodies all of the ASL core values with confidence. ” The way the community stays true to each other’s beliefs, students must be given the trust and respect which they deserve in the Middle School, this includes being free from bullying, harassment and the right not to be judged whether or not they went to tell the administration about something which they thought may posses a threat to the community and its surroundings. Those who go to the administration have the right to do this and hence must be free from all forms of bullying.
All students in all grades have a voice. By being an upstander, all students must not be judged because they stood their ground and did what they felt was right for the ASL community. We are one large community and not a large group of students. We are a team and we should not fight against each other. We are a Middle School community. Not a group of people. We stand as students of one community. Let us stand together.