Zoe Miller

Wired Staff Writer

 

Teachers are a part of every school. They help their students learn and form ideas whether it be in or out of the classroom. Teachers also influence students more than we think and a part of this could be the spread of empowering students. It is important to empower students because of the ideas they can form at such a young age. Students have the voice of the future. Students can look up to their teachers as they set the tone for what activism should look like in a positive way. Here at Westside, some teachers want their students to feel empowered enough to be able to speak out. This can be through a social media platform like Twitter or Instagram. In the community through writing, marching, or talking to representatives. Theater teacher Jeremy Stoll influences student activism and empowerment with his own students, whether that is in the classroom, or on stage.

“Lots of times when we do theater pieces even like our big main stage productions, they usually have some sort of political or social message in them and students will sometimes invest themselves in that too and then they become active that way,” said Stoll.

English teacher Nathan Moseley says that there are other methods of having your voice heard besides the use of social media as a platform. Moseley says that with social media, it is a lot harder to stand out, although it can be done. Moseley thinks writing and marching are really powerful. As those are only one of the many ways someone can be active.

“I don’t try to prescribe a certain way [for students to use their voice] but just try to encourage them to understand that they have a voice and they should use that voice. For each student that looks a little different,” Moseley said.

Recently, the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been activists by using social media as their platform and organizing the March for our Lives. Stoll says that he has been floored by the students involved in Florida. Stoll says that these students are a great example of how kids should and can speak out. Although they went through a tragedy, as long as students can work with other like minded people and coordinate your message, you can reach your community at the very least.

“[The students] are the front page of Time magazine now. I think now more than ever before [students making a change] is a possibility. If adults aren’t going to step up and lead let the kids take a shot.”

Graphic by Julia Steiner

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