By: Isabella Scopetski and Eveline Ho
Sophomores Isa Dray and Lucia Voges called upon their fellow spyponders on November 17th to join them outside on the front lawn of Arlington High School in a peaceful rally to unify the student body. Dray and Voges are deeply invested in the Student Council, Dray confessed she would not have known how to go about organizing such an event.
As the students congregated, Dray and Voges greeted their peers and briefly expressed their gratitude toward the speaker and the students that came out to support each other.
The microphone was handed to the principal of Arlington High School to kick off the rally. Dr, Janger humbly spoke to the importance of unity and that it is, “important for us to remember that we are all welcome here”. He felt that, “if we are going to be a diverse democratic community… we need to understand what is going on.” Having awareness for others and nurturing Arlington High as a “safe and positive space for everybody”, is how we will achieve unity in Janger’s eyes. The student body, listened with attentive ears as Janger went further to say that “[the students] are the culture of this school” and it is these 40-50 people that showed up whose uniqueness adds to this diverse culture we cultivate at AHS.
Next to speak was senior class president and Model Congress president Elsa Rothenburg, Rothenburg pushed the importance of “individuality” and self-acceptance. She nodded to Dr. Janger’s “rich community” of “passionate students”. Senior leaders of the Teenage Republicans, Ben and Taso showed up with the inspiring message, “We all live in the same community… We all come together as one”. GSA members Bella and Tyler declared, “The fight isn’t over until everyone has equal rights”. Several students and teachers spoke of their own messages and stories, all requesting for order and unity from the community.
The Unity Rally ended with all the speakers singing, “Lean on Me”, by Bill Withers alongside the crowd of their peers. The song was lead by Mrs. Daley, faculty advisor for the Young Feminist Alliance, who guided the participants in singing. Post-It notes were handed around for people to write inspiring messages on to pass around inspiration and encouragement. These Post-Its are posted on a board in front of the Media Center for all of Arlington High to get a chance to write something and make someone’s day. It is the small acts of kindness that reflect unity in the AHS community.