Students Address Heated Topics in Patriotism Forum

By Jerry Gao, Editor

Over the past year, Flint Hill has hosted multiple forums about various topics such as dress code and gender culture for students to express their opinions and find common ground with each other under adult supervision. On Thursday, November 7th, Flint Hill hosted the Patriotism Forum intending to allow students to share their opinions on patriotism and nationalism. Earlier that day, students had already discussed this topic in small groups during long advisory. Those students who had extensive interest during the small group discussion came to the school-wide forum in the learning commons during office hours, 2:30-3:30. 


The forum was hosted by senior Meghan Johnson, supported by the Student Council Association, and supervised by Upper School English teacher, Ms. Tracey Peterson, and Upper School Technology Integration Specialist, Mr. Nate Green. Students who attended the forum felt strongly about their opinions. Even though the range of opinions were very diverse, students were still able to present their opinions in respectful manners. The majority of those who attended the forum were upperclassmen, with the exception of some underclassman. 


Junior Student Council Representative Philip Yang commented, “The forum creates a platform for people with different opinions sharing their ideas freely, which enables people to come up with an objective patriotism.” 


The forum started with some personal questions, such as, “Do you consider yourself as a patriot?”, and eventually expanded to the more subjective questions such as, “Should Flint Hill set up a patriotic environment for the students?”,  and “Should Flint Hill suggest all students stand up for the flag during town meeting?”  


Unlike the last two forums, this one only had student to student interactions. Even though students in the forum tried not to get too political, it was ultimately inevitable. During the forum, NFL Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick’s act of kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance was brought into the conversation. This led to a debate of whether or not he was being disrespectful to the American Flag. This debate eventually settled down when the end of the forum approached. This forum lasted twenty minutes longer than expected which showed that students were very ambitious and interested in the topic. All in all, everyone eventually reached the agreement that every individual has the right to choose what they believe in.