A Loud Silence

Students Host Protest


Photo Courtesy of MJ Kelly

More than 50 students, all donned in red T shirts, pose for a group picture at the front grounds of the school, holding various signs and symbols. These students all engaged in a silent, peaceful protest regarding the Roe v. Wade and abortion situation as of now. “It felt kind of empowering,” senior Aleksae Watson said. “Because they were all there for the same thing. We all are aware that what’s going on isn’t right. I’d say it’s not appropriate. We all deserve our rights and our freedoms and it’s just being stripped from us.”

Ruchi Sankolli, Assistant Editor

On a sunny afternoon on May 12, more than 50 high school students marched towards the front of the school, donned in bright red T-shirts and holding bright, bold signs. These students are one of the many who are fighting for the right to abortion, after recent circumstances have made it more difficult for young women in Texas to access abortion.

After the recent Supreme Court draft on Roe v. Wade (involving the abortion ban in Texas in 2021) was leaked, the fight for abortion rights has spread to almost every city in Texas. From the grounds of the Capitol to school grounds now, this issue has affected nearly all young people in Texas, with the younger generation fighting for more rights as the days go by. 

Senior MJ Kelly, one of the organizers of the event at Cedar Park, planned out this event after hearing the controversy surrounding the Roe v. Wade, and wanted to extend the support for the cause to the school. 

“I feel deeply angry about the current situation,” Kelly said. “It’s upsetting to know that my own body is continuing to be violated. I just don’t understand how anybody who truly believes in freedom can be pro-life.”

Upon contacting Austin Coalition, a nonprofit organization focusing on social justice issues, Kelly said she was able to organize a protest at the school, involving a variety of students. The students met up at the cafeteria at the beginning of lunch, and slowly and silently marched over to the front of the school. 

“I am so thrilled with how it turned out,” Kelly said. “The original plan was to have a silent protest, and that we carried out with. Once we got [to the front of the school], I gave a short speech, thanking [the students] for being here, supporting women’s rights, all that stuff. We stood for a while. Finally, we took a group picture before the protest concluded.”

Having students and young people unified as one and taking the initiative is what drew many students, such as freshman Kacey Phillips, to fight for the cause. Fighting for an issue that affects a wide range of people is what drew Phillips to the protest to begin with. 

“I was so glad that so many people actually went and did the walkout,” Phillips said. “I’ve always wanted to do some type of protest that I can stand for something, and the whole Roe v. Wade thing was really making me mad, and it was so messed up. So, I’m happy I got to protest.”

Senior Aleksae Watson, who was present at the protest from start to finish, said she really enjoyed that one moment to share passion for a cause with a group of people. That support was powerful, she said. 

“It felt kind of empowering,” Watson said. “Because they were all there for the same thing. We all are aware that what’s going on isn’t right. I’d say it’s not appropriate. We all deserve our rights and our freedoms and it’s just being stripped from us.”

Watson, like several other young people, feels strong emotions towards the current battle between pro-life and pro-choice. Individual choice and decision should be prioritized over anything else, according to Watson. 

“I understand that people are pro life because of religious purposes, and stuff like that, but I personally don’t agree,” Watson said. “I think that everyone should have a say in what they do with their body. It doesn’t affect you if someone else, that you have no idea who they are, has an abortion because of whatever reason. It’s there in case of an emergency, and people get it because they need to, and people telling them that they’re killing a baby is not okay. Yes, it’s a traumatizing experience for you, but it shouldn’t affect how other people live their lives, because it has nothing to do with that.”

While there are many such resources, from protests to petitions, for students, there are many other simple ways to contribute, according to Watson. The first step is simple: talking it out with people.

“You don’t have to go in depth about [your opinions],” Watson said. “Meet people who think the same thing as you. As you create that circle, you’ll feel more comfortable talking about it, and you’ll feel protected because everyone else is thinking the same thing as you.”