I am writing in response to activity which took place out front of my high school on Thursday, Sept. 22, and Friday, Sept. 23, at approximately 7 a.m. both days.
As I pulled into the front parking lot of Bel Air High School on Thursday morning, two men caught my eye. They were standing on the corner adjacent to the entrance to the school parking lot on Kenmore Avenue.
Friday morning, the men were back, but this time standing on the corner of Kenmore Avenue and "Bobcat Drive," the side street that the buses go down to get to the back parking lot of school, adjacent to Bobcat Stadium.
The men appeared to be older, and were holding up large signs in protest against abortion. The pro-life supporters have often been seen before around the Town of Bel Air. They hold up signs displaying text and images opposing abortion. The images are gruesome photographs of unborn, blood-covered fetuses. Quite the eye-grabber…so, I guess they were successful in that aspect of the protest.
Regardless of the shock-factor that surely did hit students varying between ages of 14-18, not to mention staff, I feel that this protesting is not appropriate in a school environment. I do understand that technically they were not on school property, so this was a legal protest, but that doesn't make it right. Pro-life supporters who feel the need to hold up disturbing photographs in front of a high school setting are certainly giving their cause a bad name, not helping their cause. I'll be completely honest… I do not support abortion, but I definitely do not support older men holding up signs of these types of images as I pull in to school in the morning. Young people should not be obliged to see those types of images. Don't try to tell me we don't have to look…because these guys were pretty hard to miss.
Several students that I spoke to at school were angered by the photo. We are coming to school to get an education, not have our political views influenced or judged by outside parties or groups.
The Bel Air High School principal, Mr. Komondor, was quick to address the issue on the morning announcements. He reassured students that these men had no affiliation with Bel Air High School or the county school system.
It is to my understanding that these men have had their protesting licenses suspended in the past.
Clearly, the men wanted to make a statement to young people. They wanted to get people talking. Sure, it worked. But, there are definitely more appropriate ways to do this. Going to such an extreme just makes them look pathetic.
The writer is a junior at Bel Air High School.