It’s a rare occasion for high school students to really be encouraged to express their opinion to the government. But this week was the exception when the Stop Kony Campaign visited our school to show us a documentary on a criminal in Uganda that is making militias out of unwilling children. A special assembly was called in the auditorium so that the visitors could inform us of an epidemic and encourage us to help end it.
The general issue they presented is that this dictator-like ruler in Uganda, Africa has been forcing kidnapped children to join his army and commit unthinkable crimes throughout the community for twenty-six years. A lot of people found out about what’s going on and decided to speak out against him and his cause. This is where the make Kony famous campaign was born. The original goal, set last year, was to educate the public about what’s happening in hopes that the awareness would lead to an end to the war.
This year has rolled around however, and Kony still hasn’t been captured or forced to face justice. Now the group wants to take it one step farther by asking our government to intervene and put an end to the violence. This is where they asked for the help of the students from Belfry and other schools nationwide. If they choose, students can donate to the cause or buy merchandise with pro-peace slogans. But the parts that were really neat were the free options. First, we were invited to attend a rally in D.C along with many others from all around the nation who want their voices to be heard. Then, at the end of the assembly they gave everyone an opportunity to fill out a postcard to our state representative with that individual’s view on the situation.
This gave us the chance to directly express our views to congress. Of course, not everyone will support the cause, and that’s part of what makes the idea so great. It gave us a glimpse of what makes America so unique and wonderful. If we want change, we have the right to ask our government to give it to us. If we are against something, we have the right to peacefully oppose it. Although the majority of the students enrolled in the school (including myself) are not yet of legal voting age, we still have the opportunity to participate in major decision making. This is a big deal because we are the future of this country. All in all, it was a unique experience that applied the principles of the bill of rights to our lives, providing an alternative view from usual textbook learning.