Our View | No home for harrassment in halls of Cedar Falls

The new sophomores glided through the Cedar Falls High School halls with big smiles on their faces as they rubbed their hands against the new shiny red lockers, but as counselor Susan Langan walked them into the Tiger’s Den, their skip turned into a slow walk and their smiles turned into a sea of shock and fear. On the bulletin board in the Tiger’s Den, a poster hung up with memes targeting the LGBTQ+ community, women in general and another depicting a liberal hero and a conservative hero. 

Like every school, Cedar Falls has a statement and sections in the handbook addressing the ways students should be treated. What is printed on many staff shirts is ‘Every student every day,” but by hanging this poster up in the Tiger’s Den, someone was sending the message to students that not everyone is supported. Instead, the message came across that students who are gay and lesibian don’t belong here and female and liberal students are below the male and conservative students.

In simple terms, this poster attacks inclusivity and diversity, which are ideas the handbook prioritizes. The handbook reads that we should “value diversity.” It also states that “bullying and any physical, verbal, and/or social media abuse are violations of school district policies, rules and regulations and, in some cases, may also be a violation of criminal or other laws.”

By making these distinctions on what’s allowed and what is not in the school, the school promotes a safe and positive learning environment. Following these guidelines by purposefully refraining from hurting certain groups promotes an atmosphere that everyone wants to be a part of and come to every day. Not only were these posters targeting minorities, but half of the population at the Cedar Falls High School, including teachers. Making direct negative comments about the value women have in our society implants a feeling that women should feel inferior at Cedar Falls High School and does not create a welcoming society. 

Not only is this harassment, but it’s interfering with a U.S. citizen’s rights and Cedar Falls student’s rights to be who they are. By insulting who people chose to be or are, we are telling them they should not be who they are and they do not belong here. This does not represent a student learning environment. 

Instead of expressing ourselves by posting things around the school that make students feel like they do not belong in the school and that they are insignificant, we should be expressing ourselves through classes, clubs and activities. 

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