For America, 2017 has been a crazy year. With a recent presidential election, major forest fires, and hurricanes, this year has flown by. One event which has continued to make headlines is that of NFL players taking a knee during our national anthem. While many American adults have a stance on these players taking a knee, it raises additional questions: How do the students of Anacortes High School feel about this topic? Are their opinions being influenced by adults’ political views?
Lilly, a current AHS 9th grader, was asked ‘Why do you believe NFL players should or shouldn’t be taking a knee?’ She responded, “I think that they shouldn’t be taking a knee against their will because America is a free country.”
Yes, it is a free country with free speech, but one has to wonder how free beliefs are from outside influence. Teens’ opinion and the possible influence by parents is of particular interest. Mekelle, an AHS 9th grader, says “No,” believing students are responsible for forming their own opinions. Lilly suggests that her political beliefs are influenced by adults “A bit. Like when they say that I am doing something idiotic, they know what’s best for me. So I take what they are saying seriously.”
If not parents, what role do friends have in shaping opinions? Some say that you gravitate to people with common interests as you. Does this affect how teens view national problems? Mekelle and Lilly were asked ‘Do your friends have similar or different views as you?’ Again, the girls’ responses differed, “Similar,” replied Lilly. Mekelle told us, “[It] depends on the person. Some have similar [opinions], some have different.”
It remains unclear if our generation follows the views of our peers and friends, or if we are a group of followers or leaders. Are they leaders or followers who are taking a knee during the national anthem? Is anyone truly immune to peer pressure?
Would you take a knee? Share your thoughts on this topic below.