EBN: Talking for a change

Opening the eyes of EHS

Suicide is the third leading cause of death for 10 to 24 year old Americans.

Decreasing oppression has become a common tactic to decrease these suicide rates, and the Eureka Equity group has taken on this strategy.

E2 is a student group that meets to discuss and learn about the topics of oppression, usually with other students in the school.

On March 30, E2 held a Social Justice Meeting in the Eureka cafeteria that consisted of more than 70 students who signed up to attend.

“For me, the purpose of the meeting was to show people that oppression was real and alive in our school and discuss what we can do about it,” Jake Kiczenski (9) said. “At my table we focused on racism because that seemed like a major conflict.”

The meeting was held as a follow up to the #EurekaWillTalk meeting. Estudents wanted to share with the whole school some of the equity concepts they learned throughout the year, according to Ms. Naomi Warren, EHS social worker.

The meeting consisted of students expressing their opinions on social justice in the halls of EHS.

Anytime we’re talking about issues of social justice and oppression, what that means is some groups of students are targeted in certain ways, and some students have privileges in certain ways,” Ms. Warren said. “So in terms of thinking about students who experience or witness oppression, it can be detrimental to learning and the strength of the school community.”

Students don’t get the chance to talk openly about subjects like these, so this meeting gave students an outlet to talk about oppression and other heavy topics.

“The meeting created a psychologically safe space, and the hope was to start conversations in order to strengthen the EHS community,” Ms. Warren said. “It was a place where everyone feels included, regardless of their identities.”

Students attending the meeting developed ideas on how they should make the student body more aware of oppression.

“My group felt that there was a lot of issues within the school and outside of the school, and we decided there are some things that needed to be done,” Katie Owens (12) said. “For instance, we should make these type of meetings mandatory so people can know how others feel.”

With little opportunities for students to have open discussions on deep subjects, Ehopes to enrich and enlighten the students’ mindsets at EHS.