Opinion: How Fenton High can improve this upcoming school year


Emmy Johnson, Online Editor

The 2021-2022 school year is quickly approaching, and new ideas for Fenton High are acceptable to new and old students of all grades. This includes becoming more inclusive, understanding and advocating for a better future for students or faculty.

Some of these changes are different from bullying or new textbooks. It can be as difficult as creating a safer space for marginalized communities, especially LGBT people, people of color and women.

“Teachers and faculty should be aware of hate speech and how it can manifest, hate speech should have repercussions as allowing it to progress can majorly affect adolescence,” said Viktorija Petkovska.

Creating this space can be as simple as educating teachers and other staff members on microaggressions, which are described as small forms of hate speech that are meant to come off as nonchalant; this can also include outdated versions of teachings that can be seen as offensive. This may include slurs and making sure that staff understands what groups should and shouldn’t say them.

While this could look like a big project to tackle for certain teachers, it’s honestly not that hard. By teaching people of influence to understand complex and more modern ideas of hate, it allows them to spread these teachings to other students in hopes of creating safe spaces for all genders, races and sexualities. 

Creating a safe space doesn’t just include those of marginalized groups, it includes all students that could be facing mental challenges, financial problems or someone that might just want to vent, these ideals can prevent a serious amount of students from developing depression and anxiety.

According to rehabs.com, “20 to 30 percent of high schoolers face depression and anxiety, this can result from high-stress environments not allowing them the comfort they’re in need of.” 

Creating this space isn’t difficult, faculty just needs to form a bond and trust with other students, allowing privacy and a code of “if the student doesn’t want the parents involved they won’t be.”  This will create a space where student and teacher relationships are more healthy and allow the student to grow throughout their high school career. 

Fenton High is capable of making these changes, all it takes is training and patience with students, staff, parents and remembering the safety of students and making them comfortable is their job and top priority.