The grand jury in Missouri announced on November 24th that Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed an unarmed Mike Brown on August 9th in Ferguson Missouri, has been freed of all charges pending further investigation.
The riots in Ferguson have not ceased, although the media coverage has sunk dramatically.
Ferguson protestors experienced a new wave of justifiable fury following the release of the grand jury’s decision on the 24th.
The issue is, unfortunately, not just about a young man’s death.
His family has not had the opportunity to be angry and grieve over the unjust murder of their son.
Mike Brown’s family and the Ferguson community has had to address the underlying issues that surround the Ferguson conflict.
The overt racism, police brutality, and racial profiling that have plagued this country for far longer than it should has come to a head in Ferguson and it is unreasonable to expect a quiet response.
The impact the situation in Ferguson has on Harrison High School is small, but it has raised awareness and brought to light an issue that has been long ignored.
“Because of social media, more young people are aware of what is going on in Ferguson. Because the social media was the first to get involved, young people had more access to it,” said Amelia Hallman, Harrison High School Senior.
Whether it is by social media or by media in general, more high school students are aware of what is going on in Ferguson and are informing themselves, rather than having adults inform them.
This can have positive and negative consequences.
“[Ferguson] will affect the way controversial decisions are made when there is not a reliable information source” said Senior Becky Everly referring to how the unreliable information sources affect the public’s reaction to Ferguson.
Whether Harrison’s reaction to Ferguson matches the general public’s reaction is yet another topic of discussion amongst our high school’s pupils.
“Honestly, [Ferguson] is not really affecting [Harrison],” said senior Jenny Nguyen. “There is still such a small pocket of minorities and our population isn’t acknowledging it.”
If sufficient amounts of discussion regarding Ferguson is taking place within Harrison’s walls, it is a safe assumption that the impact Ferguson and its decision has on select students is a powerful one and should not go unnoticed.
Ferguson, while tragic, is an opportunity for our school’s youth to raise awareness of racial bias and become a part of our nation’s solution and future.