Post-Election, Wilde Lake Students Express Shock and Disappointment
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After the 2016 presidential election, Wilde Lake, just like the rest of the United States, was shocked and full of mixed emotions.
On Tuesday, November 8, millions of people cast their vote in the presidential election. By early morning of November 9, it was declared by most major news stations that Republican nominee Donald Trump had been named president-elect.
The New York Times wrote on their website that Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had an 85 percent chance to win the election. The Huffington Post put her chances at 98 percent. Like most pollsters, they were incorrect.
“All the polls seemed to be [showing] Hillary [as the projected winner],” said senior Alan Garcia.
Students across the country who were unhappy with the unexpected result took to the streets in protest. The day after the election, over 1,500 students conducted a walkout in Berkeley High School in California to protest Trump’s win.
In a Des Moines high school, hundreds of students left class in protest. Dozens of college students did the same at the University of Pittsburgh, leading to the arrest of two people.
The reaction of students at Wilde Lake was somewhat different.
On the Wednesday after the election, many Wilde Lake students were simply shocked and in a state of disappointment.
“It definitely affected people,” said senior Lia Conforti. “From what I know from talking to people, a lot of my friends were negatively affected by the election [outcome]. We were worried and stressed out about it.”
Others were disappointed, but didn’t feel as if the result of the election changed their day-to-day lives.
“Personally, in my everyday life it really didn’t affect me too much,” said senior and Howard County SMOB Griffin Diven. “But I think that there are people out there who are worried about how their daily actions are going to be affected.”
“I feel like we were kind of discouraged,” said Mikayla Dixon, a senior and the head of Delta Scholars. “It was quiet, like no one knew what to say.”
Most students were able to handle their feelings without conflicting with others.
“I didn’t notice conflict between students, but I did notice a lot of students were really upset. A lot of teachers were upset. I feel like most teachers were pretty respondent to students if they were uneasy,” said Diven.
Wilde Lake staff and administration were also affected by the presidential election result. Principal James LeMon wanted to give students an outlet to express their thoughts and opinions in a respectful manner.
“You could feel the emotion in the building,” said Mr. LeMon. “Several students came to me expressing their feelings and wanting to do something.”
Mr. LeMon also said that he did not observe any conflict or tension among students. “I am not aware of any arguments that happened,” said Mr. LeMon.
On the week following the election, administration worked in conjunction with students to organize an after school event in which students could express their emotions. The event had about 80 people in attendance and gave students an outlet for their views and emotions after elections.
“We want to make sure that we continue to do those types of things; give kids a chance to talk openly. I think generally students feel that we can [talk openly] pretty productively here,” said Mr. LeMon.
Mr. LeMon felt as though, even under the stressful circumstances, teachers were prepared to deal with the emotional situation.
“Our goal is to give teachers some resources [to deal with student emotions],” said Mr. LeMon. “I think overall our staff did a really good job with it.”
His overarching message to both students and teachers was that “no matter who’s in charge of the country, it doesn’t change who we are as people. We still have to respect each other.”