Fight for the right

Photo+Illustration+by+Abbey+Painter%0A

Photo Illustration by Abbey Painter

Jack Rintoul, opinions writer

In Dr. Lisa Autry’s immaculate chemistry-filled classroom, students from all sides of the Conservative spectrum unite every Wednesday to openly express their views without fear of criticism. With guests ranging from former state Rep. Rick Stream and former state Rep. candidate Mark Milton, there is always something new going on with the club. Emilee Autry, junior and co-vice president, said she enjoys that everyone who takes part is easy to talk to about their beliefs.    

“In a more left-leaning school like Kirkwood, [Young Conservatives] gives people from the right-side of the spectrum a place to go where you are accepted and not pressured about your political views.” Emilee said.

The club is also a place for high school students to become active in politics and find others with similar opinions. For Wolfgang Frick, freshman, Young Conservatives allowed him to take an interest in politics and understand why it is so important.

“When I entered middle school, I had no interest in politics whatsoever,” Wolfgang said. “I thought it was a waste of time and just people bickering back and forth about things that didn’t matter. When I started to mature, I realized how important it was because politics are in everything. Politics define interactions and the way the world goes around.”

Wolfgang said how crucial it was for students to find a club that will help them understand themselves. With Young Conservatives, he discovered where he fit on the political spectrum. And while he considers the club to be important, it is not the only activity members of the club participate in.

Members believe the club can serve as a platform to create a more balanced environment among politics at KHS. Dr. Autry has advised the Young Conservatives for more than 15 years and believes it is important for organizations like Young Conservatives to exist because they create an opportunity for any student of any background to have a place to come talk and share ideas.

“I feel like [at KHS] [Conservatives] are very much in the minority, “Lisa said.” [The club] serves as a space where they can come and talk about their points of view and discuss issue that matter to them without being derided. I know a lot of them feel like they can’t talk about their side in some of their classes because I know they are worried about not only students reactions but teachers reactions as well.”

Members are working to make sure both sides are fairly heard and accounted for around the halls of KHS. They want KHS to become a place for everyone to be able to discuss their beliefs no matter the circumstances.

“We have opened some people’s minds to realize that there might be a bias happening,” Lisa said. “ it is changing the way students and teachers view people with different opinions and I am really proud of my students for making that happen.”