Pinning Hopes on Support: Staff, students share many reasons for wearing safety pins

By Mallorie Sckerl

Since the new epidemic of small metal clips attached to people’s clothing began, a lot of mixed emotions have been stirred up all across the country, as well as in the halls of Cedar Falls High School.  People have chosen to begin wearing safety pins on a daily basis for a multitude of reasons; however, many of those reasons have become commonly misunderstood since the election.  To combat the spreading of misinformation and confusion, several students and staff have shared their reasons for wearing a safety pin here.

Olivia Habinck- Senior
“I wear a safety pin to let people who are fearful of the future of this nation know they have a person that stands with them and is there for them.  I personally am fearful of the uncertainty of what is to come for the next four years, and it does make me feel better to see many other people wearing safety pins.”

Bekah Bass- Senior
“The safety pins on my shirt are simply a symbol of support and solidarity.  I do not agree with those who are bashing Trump supporters because, as an individual asking mere tolerance of others, I understand that I must afford this courtesy to others. If you are upset or offended by people wearing safety pins, I encourage you to reevaluate your beliefs.  Only you can decide whether showing compassion and support for others is making a political statement.”

Meron Abebe- Junior
“The safety pin movement gained traction after the election in November.  The pin is a symbol of solidarity with any group that has experienced ongoing vulnerability, prejudice and/or harm due to misleading stereotypes that have been especially prevalent in American culture since the beginning of this election cycle.  I wear my safety pin to show support for those of us — people of color, women, people with disabilities, Muslims, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, etc. — that have been marginalized.”

Eliott Kranz- Staff Member
“I choose to wear the safety pin to let anyone know I am a person they can come to talk to and feel safe about anything.”

Chad Van Cleve- Staff Member
“The Constitution of the United States allows people to freely express themselves as long they do not infringe on the rights of others. Wearing a safety pin to proclaim you are an ally to those who have been the targets of harassment and that you will help to provide a safe environment for others is not only a use of this great Constitutional right, this action is by definition, the basis of what the United States was founded upon. Securing rights for those who have been marginalized or to paraphrase James Otis, no taxation without representation. There are people who have stated the wearing the safety pin is an act that is anti-Trump and therefore anti-America. I fail to see the evidence that proves or supports such a position. What I am reminded of when I hear such statements is a quote by James Madison, author of the Constitution of the United States. “As long as the reason of man continues fallible, and he is at liberty to exercise it, different opinions will be formed.” The safety pin can have different meanings for different people, but I hope that those who are in need of an ally will be able to find pin wearing allies when allies are needed.

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