The Unheard Voices of Kingsway

Students feel unsafe in their Kingsway “family”

As a school,  the Kingsway population prides itself on being inclusive and accommodating. Our community puts heavy stress on anti-bullying campaigns such as the “see something, say something” slogan.  The saying makes sense, but not all students have confidence that something can actually be done to stop the insulting and intimidating behavior of some students.

There is a major problem occurring in Kingsway that many overlook: the treatment of those because of their clothes. These issues, specifically regarding harassment of people who have more alternative dressing or people who simply dress differently than what is perceived as “normal,” are not spoken about. The ridicule these students face is so normalized that alternative dressing people just “expect it.”  Some students were willing to talk about their feelings openly, while others wanted anonymity.

 Junior Samuel Fein stated “The school literally does nothing.. They will do everything for someone else but if it’s us they will do nothing and you can’t really do anything because it’s the head of the school.” The fact that a certain portion of our student body feels so underrepresented is, in a word, hypocritical of everything we claim that we pride ourselves in. The titles of “a family” or statement of ‘in this together” do not quite fit when some of our so-called “family” live in a constant state of anxiety and fear just simply walking through campus.

“Literally when we walk past the front of the bleachers people bark at us… We have had people throw stuff at us at lunch,” continued student Xen Polk.

“Kingsway I feel like is one of those places where it’s like half and half like it’s not like very umm.. easy to find the halfway point. It’s either you’re super on one side or you’re super on the other so… but yeah I know a lot of people that that stuff happens to a lot,” added junior Gabbie Lunt.

As a school, we are a very divided population whether it be politically,  honestly, or morally. While it is impossible to all collectively agree on every single principle of life, the one concept that it is crucial to agree upon is respect.

Yes, someone dressed differently than you. Yes, someone has different sexuality or different pronouns than you. Yes, someone looks different than you. But that doesn’t in any sense give you an invitation to make them feel uncomfortable with their own existence.“It’s kind of aggravating though because it seems like everyone just wants to like mess with you and like ruin your day just because you dress differently than them,” remarked student Dylan McCarthy. It’s time for some people to wake up and realize that it is 2021; people are people regardless of their gender identity, sexuality, race, style, regardless of anything. The fact that these aspects of human identity are still being discriminated against in a time when we have people traveling to space like it is normal is unbelievable. Both Kingsway and the world need to wake up and realize it isn’t the 1900s and there are people that don’t look like the status quo. 

Most importantly,  students, teachers, and staff in the community need to realize that is okay for people to express themselves in different attire or make-up as long it does not disrupt anyone’s learning.

However, to say the entire school population is ignorant is unfair, as there are many people in Kingsway who truly do care about the wellbeing of the entire student body. For instance, a student who chose to remain anonymous added “I have been saying a lot of negative stuff, but a teacher that is really supportive is Mrs. D, the art teacher”. Samuel Fain agreed, stating that “Mrs. D and Ms. Wescott are two really supportive teachers who have done literally nothing but try to respect us and make us feel comfortable. So if any kids want their pronouns changed or need help with anything I recommend that they to go to Mrs. D because she is so open about it- she’s such an ally and she runs the GSA here.”

There is still so much people as a school, as a society, as a world need to work out, but it is nice to know that there are people out there that support people for who they truly are.