The School Newspaper of John Carroll School

The Patriot

Barker’s speech brings hope for acceptance

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On Jan. 25, students could literally hear a pin drop in the gymnasium as Principal Paul Barker took to the podium to offer up his input on a very important issue.

Students were fully aware that Barker’s speech would be about accepting one another.

One would think that by attending a Catholic school, racism and discrimination wouldn’t be an issue. Instead, students are struggling with accepting each other as they are.

After hearing about the words being thrown around inappropriately in the cafeteria, in classrooms, and over the Internet, I was disgusted by the behavior of JC students. Although the words were not directed towards me, I was very upset and affected by them

Even if the students may have meant no harm by them, and may have even laughed them off as a joke, it hurts because it’s not a joke. For some people, the name-calling and stereotypical jokes are a reality that they suffer every day.

As the niece of an uncle who has suffered from cerebral palsy his whole life, I was disturbed to hear that words like “retard” were being thrown around and that one student would rather suffer from a mental and physical disorder than have a different skin color.

I for one know that my uncle would rather be a different skin color than be unable to do certain things, like ride a bike, go away to college, or even get married and have his own family.

I think that students could take a lot away from Barker’s speech, who told of his own experiences of saying things before thinking about the consequences that his words would have.

Hopefully, because of Barker’s speech, students will think before just throwing words around. You never really know who might be sitting at a nearby desk that might be hurt or take offense to the careless things you say.

Julia Earnshaw is a Layout Editor for “The Patriot” and

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The School Newspaper of John Carroll School
Barker’s speech brings hope for acceptance