LHS: divided but not defeated


Veronica Iseminger

The growing gap between liberals and conservatives, republicans and democrats, has been cause for differing attitudes towards the politics of today.

Veronica Iseminger, Staff Writer

With the smell of dying leaves and political tension in the air, friends, families and neighbors alike have turned against each other, and you’d be mistaken to think that it would end at school. If anything, the tense atmosphere just festers amongst the hands of students. With election day creeping closer and closer, the student body only becomes more and more divided. Despite these divisions, LHS students have been making an effort to have meaningful conversations regarding political issues, whether through social media or in person. 

 “Lincoln’s political climate is undoubtedly strange. This is a school where previously anyone could walk in and understand that the rest of the student body was in this together, but this year, in particular, has proven that to be untrue. I don’t believe it is a matter of rivalries being built, but colors being revealed- we were never wholly unified, to begin with, only silent,” said LHS senior Cat Paul. 

There’s no doubt that debate arises every election year, but this year has shown to be more divided than ever. Both sides of the political spectrum have grown in pride and anger towards the other. People once neutral to the idea of politics and policies have now taken an increased interest in the world’s affairs and whether or not they try to educate themselves, there’s a clear separation. At LHS, the presence of the presidential election hangs heavy.  

 “People are gonna disagree with the vote and the outcome. There’s gonna be happy people, sad people, but, in all, I don’t think the election is gonna be good either way,” said LHS sophomore Cole Capaldo.

 LHS senior Max Mickleson stated, “Obviously I think this generation is much more in tune with the political climate and the news, so I’d say [the upcoming election] has been more polarizing; there’s definitely been more political activity from our generation.” 

Another leading argument has been the presence of the Black Lives Matter movement which grew rapidly after the death of George Floyd in May earlier this year. Additionally, the Black Lives Matter movement has made an effort to solve racial injustice in our communities and criminal justice systems. LHS students spoke out actively throughout social media, attended rallies and peaceful protests, and signed petitions. However, this also furthered the divide prevalent at LHS. Recently, regarding a planned peaceful protest meant to be held honoring Breonna Taylor, disputes were made over how the situation should be handled. Numerous accounts have also released students’ names and faces who have been deemed racist or have used racial slurs.

 “This has always been a school of academic integrity, of academic excellence, of reputation,” said Paul. “We are a school that must withhold the expectation that every single person is lifted to their highest potential. The fact that Lincoln may be worn by areas of racism is heartbreaking and disappointing; that something as foolish as falsely-based racial-presumptions actively deters the experience that people are getting not only as students but as human beings, and for that to be taking place in this building, is grotesque. The Black Lives Matter movement, from what I’ve seen at this school, is focused on empathy. Black Lives Matter is a movement that respectfully intends to bring people together as humans, this school will be no exception. I full-heartedly believe that greater things will come from this.”

Although LHS has become strained, students can agree that having these political discussions are necessary and beneficial overall. Your voice shouldn’t be restricted and beliefs shouldn’t be silenced. By asking questions and having productive conversations, we can keep ourselves unbiasedly educated and better informed on the world around us. 

 “The last thing we need is censorship. Our constitutional freedom of speech was given with the intention of political discussion, and if our school is any bit representative of our country, that cannot be rightly taken away,” said Paul. “The political climate deeply affects every single student at LHS, in one way or another. Our school, in all our academic integrity, is the prime place to be having these conversations.”