The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

Courtesy of Ava Seay
Senior Spotlight: Ava Seay
Brady Jones, Assistant News Editor • June 4, 2024

As the school year fades to an end, many graduates are leaving the Athens Drive community to begin searching for their passions. While some...

Brady Jones has an on-stage-cameo as security guard in production called I Hate Shakespeare. Photo provided by Lauryn Webb
Senior spotlight: Brady Jones
Taylor Malloy, Editor in Chief • June 4, 2024

Athens Drive High School watches many of its students arrive as freshmen and leave as seniors. Some of these seniors stand out as being leaders,...

Jayvon Coleman at Athens Drive
Senior Spotlight: Jayvon Coleman
Sama Yousef, Staff Writer • June 4, 2024

Throughout high school, students achieve and extend themselves thoroughly; Senior Jayvon Coleman has pushed himself to perform excellence throughout...

Rachel Huffman, a cheerful senior at a companions home having a fun time with friends and her digital camera, at a get together.
Senior Spotlight: Rachel Huffman
Deevani Rodriguez, Features Copy Editor • June 4, 2024

Out of the graduating class of 2024, Senior Rachel Huffman has strived to do her best at leading and achieving greatness at Athens Drive Magnet...

The Drive Inquiry Clubs website is pictured. Dylan Ducatte dedicated a lot of her time while at Athens to the club.
Senior Spotlight: Dylan Ducatte
Sophie King, Assistant Editor • June 4, 2024

A true historian, senior Dylan Ducatte has spent her time at Athens fully engaged in all the school's social studies classes. Throughout her...

Skylar Moore at graduation rehearsal with fellow students.
Senior Spotlight: Skylar Moore
Rowan Bissett, Assistant Sports Editor • June 4, 2024

June 8, 2024, Athens seniors will walk the stage, take their diplomas, and finally finish high school. One of those Seniors is Skylar Moore,...

Meet the Staff
Deevani Rodriguez
Deevani Rodriguez
Features copy editor

Deevani is an open minded character, she likes fitness, eating, and spending quality time with her loved ones. She hopes to write more exciting, engaging articles.

Ella Johnson
Ella Johnson
News Copy Editor

Ella Johnson (Right) is a Sophomore at Athens Drive High School. This is her first semester writing for the Athens Oracle. Outside of school, she enjoys playing soccer, hanging out with friends, and listening...

Hannah Suehle
Hannah Suehle
Co-Editor in Chief

Hannah Suehle is a senior at Athens Drive and co-editor-in-chief. This is their fifth semester writing for the Athens Oracle. Outside of school, they like to play games, read, crochet, and do Scottish...

Students protest Palestine protest shutdowns

Even as schools wind down for the summer, the protests continue. Violence has increased, with videos being released of protestors flushing their eyes from tear gas thrown by police.
Photos by Hannah Suehle
Even as schools wind down for the summer, the protests continue. Violence has increased, with videos being released of protestors flushing their eyes from tear gas thrown by police.

It has always been and should always be a right for the people of the United States of America to protest about what they feel is unjust in their country. Students have always been a big part of protests, creating the precedent in 1956 when Iowa high school students wore black armbands to school in protest of the Vietnam War. The lawsuit went to the Supreme Court in a case known as Tinker v. Des Moines, where it was determined that students of public schools also held the right to evoke the First Amendment without censorship from school officials. College campuses are central to many Palestinian protests this year, Columbia’s being the most famous, but North Carolina’s own local UNC-Chapel Hill is among the active ones. However, the administration for these campuses tends to shut down these protests quickly. This is a disappointing display against what America is supposed to stand for: the right for everyone to express their beliefs in a safe manner. 

The protests at Columbia University have been widely reported on for the student-led protest, heightened by media presence during the Pulitzer Prize decision process taking place. Their strategies for dealing with peaceful protest have been heavily looked down upon in online spaces, citing their aggression towards the occupation of green spaces on campus. They have arrested nearly 300 student protestors during the now month-long encampment. Recently, however, Columbia put out a press release about their handling of the Vietnam War protests and how the tarnishment of their reputation following that debacle took them nearly 20 years to repair. Yet, they appear to be handling Palestinian protests in a similar way, which leads to concerns about their knowledge of the phrase: “Those who choose not to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Students should never be arrested for peaceful protest on their school’s campus, as it is their First Amendment right.

A scene from Columbia campus, where protesters lay out tributes and flags. The encampment lasts night and day, with many not leaving even for meals. Photo via Al Jazeera

In a more local sense, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has joined the protest. Gathering in courtyards and green spaces, the protest has now spanned over 3 months. However, the most recent development is distressing for many. Campus Y, a program that hosts many buildings and experiences on campus, put out a statement against the police brutality on campus toward the protestors. Two days later, on May 2, the program was shut down by the administration. Starting May 2, 2024, all campus resources the program ran are discontinued indefinitely. Losses include wheelchair-accessible and gender-neutral bathrooms, the reproductive resource and food pantry, financial autonomy for 22 campus committees, the on-campus coffee shop Meantime Coffee Co., which hosts 20+ jobs for students, the Bonner Leaders program, which works with local charities and community organizations to volunteer, the Global Gap and Bridge Year programs, which lead their summer abroad and gap year programs, study spaces and classrooms across campus, and Owen’s Memorial Study Space and Library. All of these buildings and programs are maintained and run by Campus Y, and following its shutdown, all of these resources are closed indefinitely. 

Graduation occurred May 3, so while this may not be an issue for most students, many of these services like the Mutual Aid food pantry are open for help year-round, and closing these resources can cause many in the community. The closure of such a helpful service is appalling, especially considering there is no plan to reopen any of these resources in a timely manner. The website (link) has amassed a large number of student testimonials about the shutdown of the program and the resulting fallout.

The result of these protests is that schools have been canceling commencements. The high school class of 2020 did not get a high school graduation due to COVID-19 shutdowns, and then students at schools like Columbia University once again missed graduation because administrators feared issues would arise due to protests. The protests were peaceful and non-violent until police intervention. The protests will likely continue until change is made, which could be months from now.

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