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Reader's Viewpoint: New Norwin High School Club Has Inappropriate Political, Religious Agenda

By Submitted Report
The Tube City Almanac
March 04, 2016
Posted in: Commentary-Editorial

Opinions expressed in editorials and commentaries are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Tube City Community Media Inc. or its directors. Responsible replies are welcomed.

Nicole Noll is a senior at Norwin High School:

Recently, it’s come to my attention that a new student club titled “Knights for Life” has been formed to raise awareness of and promote a pro-life viewpoint amongst the student body. To me, this club has sparked several concerns.

I’d like to start by noting that it seems as if this club has been founded upon political or potentially religious grounds. At Norwin, we have a club for the Christian members of our student body titled “Knights of Faith,” but they’ve never sparked any controversy or publicly shared their views during normal school hours. They’ve been respectful while still honoring their faith.

In order to start a club at Norwin, students involved must first get approval for the idea of their club from the school board and then get a member of the school’s faculty to sign off as the club’s moderator and to help run the meetings. With the case of the Christian “Knights of Faith,” the teacher in charge of the club has never shown or said anything expressing his Christian views during the normal hours of his job.

“Knights for Life,” however, in my opinion, hasn’t shown the same amount of courtesy for students that don’t share those views.

 

On Friday, Feb. 26, a morning announcement was made to the student body telling them to “find a student with a heart on their sleeve and ask why they’re wearing it.” Naturally, out of curiosity, I did. I asked a girl about her paper heart and she told me “I’m wearing this because of the 96 babies that are killed by abortion each class period.”

I found a student expressing this statistic to be shocking, but what really surprised me was that there were teachers and faculty members around the school wearing the same heart on their sleeves. I had seen or heard about several educators wearing these hearts, not just the teacher who moderates this club.

My initial reaction was that teachers expressing these views during school hours may not only be completely inappropriate, but potentially illegal. Although stances on abortion can be arguably non-religious, I believe things like that are undeniably part of a political agenda that shouldn’t be proudly displayed on the sleeve of a public school educator.
 
In a high school environment, the hallways are filled with 14-18 year olds who are obviously very impressionable. I believe the last thing we need is having faculty members that we’re supposed to look up to, telling us about why they’re anti-abortion.

One of my biggest issues with students giving out abortion statistics, like the one I was told, is that we’re hardly being given any sexual education in our health classes, but the minimal amount that we do get, doesn’t include any statistics about abortion.
 
I find it totally unfair to talk about “96 babies that are killed by abortions each class period” without taking into consideration how many of those abortions occurred due to rape or incest, or were late-term abortions done because continuing the pregnancy would be fatal to the mother.
 
Also, I highly doubt that the school took into consideration the feelings of students that could have personally been affected by an abortion case in their past. It seems to me that the school only talking about the number of “babies” being aborted may be demonstrating their political/religious agenda, even though Norwin is a public school.

It’s important for me to note that I’m not angry about the “Knights for Life” club’s agenda due to my own beliefs about abortion, which are completely irrelevant. My problem is that I personally don’t believe that topics such as this one belong in my high school, and I find this to be inappropriate propaganda that’s being shown off amongst a large group of impressionable teenagers.
 
—Nicole Noll, North Huntingdon Twp.

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Originally published March 04, 2016.

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