In this Aug. 12, 2021, file photo, a pro-mask demonstrator, right, speaks with a non-mask demonstrator, left at the Cobb County School Board Headquarters during a pro mask wearing protest in Marietta, Georgia. Credit: Mike Stewart / AP

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As a high school student, I have watched the conflicts erupting at school board meetings nationwide with growing concern. The inability for grown adults to conduct themselves properly in public, even resorting to abhorrent behavior such as the playing of recordings containing racial slurs, as demonstrated in November at the Enumclaw school board meeting in Washington state, sets a dangerous precedent for how my generation is being raised.

Not only do the unruly attitudes of parents show an inability to raise kind, respectful citizens; they also demonstrate the older generation’s unwillingness to listen to highschoolers themselves. At a board meeting in Tennessee, parents went so far as to heckle a student as he advocated for wearing masks after losing his grandmother to the pandemic. These parents who claim to care about “saving the children” can’t even be bothered to listen to the children. And even worse, they are apparently willing to go out of their way to harass kids for speaking on a topic like masks in school — a topic that affects kids in a much greater sense than parents.

What sort of a generation is being raised? One that disregards and mocks the opinions of others? One that harasses children? One that cannot speak at a school board meeting without dissolving into offensive acts?

Olivia Davis