Hoping to enact change
The story behind the Booster Redux's March Special Issue.
March 8, 2018
As we’re sure you can tell, this issue does not resemble our typical monthly coverage. Our staff members felt an inherent obligation to address not only our nation’s divisive political climate, but also to bring to the forefront our society’s apparent inability to speak responsibly about controversial issues.
We are no strangers to the difficulty of discussing uncomfortable topics as a staff.
However, on Feb. 14, when a shooter entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and killed 17 people, we, as editors, hesitated to initiate a conversation on the tragedy.
Knowing the diverse opinions of our staff and the impassioned debates that may arise from the aftermath of school shootings, we did not want to create animosity in the classroom.
And besides, we had stories to edit, photos to capture and pages to design. We felt it was important to redirect our focus to finishing our original March content.
However, the guilt of pushing aside this incident weighed on us. Ultimately, we could no longer ignore the political strife in our country. The matter at hand demanded our attention.
We put our publication on hold to talk about the school shooting in Parkland as a staff. Our conversation about the current event quickly grew into a much bigger discussion.
As we began to understand the magnitude, we became more frustrated with our nation because the school shooting brought to light a deeper issue — the issue of not being able to talk comfortably about controversial topics.
Not every member of our staff shares the same political views, but everyone collectively agreed on the need to address this situation.
With this fire lit inside of us, we decided to pursue this alternative coverage in order to create conversation surrounding a variety of topics ranging from mental illness to racism, rather than leaving them unspoken.
We know these are not the only pressing issues in our country, but these are a few we knew were affecting our school.
The stark appearance of our front page symbolizes our society’s lack of dialogue regarding these topics.
We share many diverse opinions on gun control to show how the issue is not black and white, but every shade in between. Appropriately, the simplistic color scheme reflects this approach.
As you will see, most of the reporting was compiled through surveys and interviews because we want to leave the conversation up to you.
We aimed to cover as many perspectives as possible by allowing students, staff, the community and journalism programs around the nation to share their stories and viewpoints. These people, among many others, have been ignored amidst arguments on social and political issues.
This issue is a collaborative effort between our writers, designers and photographers, so we did not include bylines or photo credits to let the content speak for itself.
We want to applaud our staff for their diligent work. We also wanted to thank those who came forward with their stories and opinions. This issue would not have been possible without you, and we celebrate your courage by sharing your experiences.
Overall, the purpose of this publication is to bring awareness to the students and topics often forgotten and to ignite a passion within our community to stop dismissing these problems so quickly.
When will enough be enough?
To those wanting to use their voice, we are with you. The signatures below signify solidarity as a staff despite political differences because we all need to express our concerns through civil discourse.
Student activism is alive and well. Through tweets, speeches and meetings with representatives, Parkland survivors continue to show persistence in supporting their cause.
To quote the Washington Post, “Democracy dies in darkness.” Shine a light on the issues that matter to you. To start the discussion, sign the pledge on the back page and commit to speaking out about issues to enact change.
We are joining the conversation with Marjory Stoneman Douglas. And we will not be silenced.