Powers of the press and protest enact change and compromise
As my final year at WHS draws to a close, I have felt the magnetic allure of apathy as much as the next senior.
I was content to put minimal effort into preparing for four AP tests, numerous extracurricular commitments and a research paper I had known about since November (sorry, Ms. Coppola), and instead, lay in bed marathoning Law and Order: SVU on Netflix.
But, a situation arose in the past week or two that snapped me out of my senioritis-induced stupor.
Bureaucratic choices nearly caused my dear Wooster Blade to lose its heart, soul and adviser, Kristi Hiner.
Remarkably, though, a community that loves the BLADE came together to prevent that from happening.
When my staff and I found out that they might have to start next year without Mrs. Hiner, we were devastated that we would lose everything she had built and believed that the BLADE would never be the same.
So, we did everything in our power to prevent that from happening.
We know that words hold incredible influence, so we committed to using the power of the pen, and the power of the smartphone, to our advantage.
We pulled out every nonviolent protest trick in the book, circulating a petition and wearing our “Stand with the Hiners” pins in school, Tinker v. Des Moines-style.
We hoped and prayed that others would understand the reasons we cared so much, and the community did not disappoint.
Support for the Hiners, the BLADE, the Legacy and the students involved poured in from around the world in the form of hundreds of shares on social media, Change.org petition comments, emails and phone calls to administrators and letters to the editor. Parents made Facebook posts. Students tweeted. Custodians wore pins. Former BLADE and Legacy staff members wrote in from California and Alabama and the Netherlands and Argentina to share the impacts of these programs and individuals on their lives.
I am in awe of the response we received, but I cannot say I was exactly surprised. It is clear to everyone involved that BLADE is more than just a newspaper; it is an institution that touches lives.
BLADE is a place where I have learned about ethics, design and how to communicate. It is a venue to share educated opinions, and it allows us to showcase informative art. The BLADE room is my peaceful, beautiful haven within the high school, and the BLADE staff are my very favorite people to see every morning.
I am immeasurably grateful that the BLADE network and family around the world has helped us to enact change and reach a compromise which allows us to keep our Hiners. I am thankful the administration and the union sat down and listened to our ideas. I am thrilled that the next generation of high school students can sign up for Intro to Media and join the model of joy and intellectual curiosity that is the BLADE.
Most of all, I am proud to have had the honor of being an editor-in-chief and have been graced with the opportunity to spend three years with this wonderful group of people.
Long live The Wooster Blade.