A Break From The Silence


This is a slide found in Charged Media Solution’s Veterans Day video shown to the school. Veterans were interviewed during this video sharing their experiences and why Veterans Day is so important. Larry Williams, a teacher here, submitted these facts and stated, “My silence will allow them to speak”.

Kylie Huber, Staff Writer

We need change. 

Friday, Oct. 29, our community lost one of our own. Thursday, Nov. 11, we celebrated Veterans Day and learned about the huge impact mental health takes on veterans and soldiers who have served our country. 

This kind of tragedy is hard to understand. It is scary, sorrowful, and hard to accept the reality of it. Some are familiar with struggles with mental health and others, not so much. Nonetheless, it must be talked about. We cannot stay silent. 

Our school preaches the importance of community, tradition, and most importantly, a family-like atmosphere. We missed an opportunity to follow through with these things as we lost a family member and failed to recognize it the next day. Regardless of race, religion, political views, sexuality, or period of time, they were here, a life was lost. A family member is gone. Students and teachers were confused, hurting, and grieving. Not knowing how to respond, where to go, and who to talk to. Most found out through gossip around the school. We were not given a place to grieve, talk through or just cry about this tragedy. Our family members were left to mourn alone that day. An announcement was made almost a week later, but we stayed silent for too long. 

We show mental health slideshows, post numbers to call or text, and hand out flyers. But, that is not enough. We cannot rely on postings on the walls to take care of crying students in the hallways. We cannot rely on certain people in the building to check on everyone in the school. We cannot rely on rumors spreading to fully understand what had actually happened. We cannot rely on people to just be okay with this news. 

Talking about mental health is difficult, and new for many of us, but it is something we simply cannot shy away from like we did. Especially after the toll it has taken on our community. Students needed a place where they could go talk to someone. Teachers/Administrators needed a system where they could step out for a moment. Our building should not have had to process that alone.

 As a school, we must grow in this area. So, what does this look like? 

It looks like sitting down and having those uncomfortable and vulnerable conversations with anyone and everyone who needs it. 

It looks like providing outlets for members of our school to go and catch their breath, especially teachers.  

It looks like announcing there are people ready to hear your grief, people who will sit, listen, and cry with you. 

It looks like recognizing every single person’s feelings are valid. 

It looks like being careful not to invalidate people’s feelings if you were not personally affected. 

It looks like coming together, dropping our differences, to be the family we all know Charger Nation is, and recognizing the importance of mental health in our school. 

You are wanted, needed, and loved. Charger Nation will be here for those of you grieving.