SHS clubs focus on acceptance, diversity, and love

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Cropped shot of a group of unrecognizable people holding one another’s thumbs in a single line

Benjamin Veley, Staff Writer

Stroudsburg High School supports a variety of clubs that promote diversity: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, The Acceptance Project, and Amnesty International. All are focused on creating a healthier, more equal society.

“We need to enact change and if we can start here, let’s do it,” said SHS principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl.

Two recent events heightened the importance and need for such organizations: the death of two African American citizens in early 2020.

First, was Breonna Taylor. She was a medical worker who was shot dead in her home on March 13, 2020. She lived in Louisville, Kentucky and was only 26 years old when she died. There was a warrant set out for her boyfriend at the time, so the police responded with a raid. During the raid, there were claims of gunshots coming from the house so the police opened fire and Taylor was tragically killed.

The second event occurred in May. The nation suffered the death of a man named George Floyd. He was in the custody of police officers after being accused of using fraud money to purchase cigarettes. As the officers were trying to subdue Floyd, they put pressure on his trachea with the weight from their legs. The pressure from eight long minutes caused him to die from mechanical asphyxia. This caused outrage from the black community. This tragedy helped ignite the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020. 

Riots and protests formed all over the country. Many innocent people were targeted by police officers and also by people who were against the cause. Many were injured and even killed. What was meant to be a movement to protect the black community became the battlefield for violence and harm. In the events of the Black Lives Matter movement, SHS is trying to combat prejudice with love. In fact, last spring, SHS principal Mr. Jeffrey Sodl organized a peaceful protest in Floyd’s honor. Hundreds of students and staff marched through the two boroughs in support of the BLM movement.

Recently this year the NAACP Future Leaders club, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was created at SHS. One of its goals is to promote equality for people of color and to show that there are in fact, opportunities for these people. People of color in the district can come together to rise up in the face of injustice. More broadly, the club is focused on fairness and justice for all.