It is undoubtedly true that the election of Donald Trump has brought panic and anxiety to a great deal of the student body at San Gabriel. The controversial policies that the president-elect has proposed have made students question whether or not they are safe in this country. However, in a time where hatred and hostility seem to dominate everyday life, San Gabriel’s organizations and administration, along with California as a whole, are well prepared to protect students and offer aid and relief to those who feel unsafe.
Various clubs on campus are available to aid students who are feeling isolated. A new club named Safespace aims to provide students with a place to be open about their issues and feel empowered, no matter the difficulties they are facing. Furthermore, Gay and Proud Supporters (GAPS), a club aimed to provide a safe community for people of all gender identities, is a great example of how school clubs effectively integrate students who could otherwise be marginalized from the community. The fact that our school has clubs such as Safespace and GAPS shows how our school can effectively address the needs of students of varying backgrounds.
Further, the Association of Latin American Students, along with the Asian American Association (AAA), also believe they can offer help for the community through spreading a positive view on the situation. “[Trump] has changed his stance on some issues, all we can do is hope for more,” President Brandon Gallardo said. Emily Su, president of AAA, believes that San Gabriel has been making efforts to promote diversity, but “hope[s] [students] can eventually realize that there is more to learn about our world.” Clubs like these, which help build ties between communities, show San Gabriel’s ability to handle its diversity well.
Support for student needs does not stop at clubs; it reaches administration. Principal Debbie Stone, while not encouraging the walkouts after Trump’s election, did acknowledge that the protesters had a right to express their thoughts. Stone believes that in order to aid students express themselves, adults on campus should be able to help by listening to what they have to say. This administrative understanding shows one of the great success of the school: giving students a voice when the national discourse can be so ruthlessly oppressive.
Along with San Gabriel, the state as a whole has pledged to protect its residents from a potentially divisive Trump presidency. The California State Legislature, as well as local leaders from both major political parties, promised safety for its citizens after the election. Through these actions, California has made it clear that it will not let a Trump presidency deteriorate the progress it has made.
The fears that people feel are not unfounded; given the events of the past months it may seem as though hatred, bigotry, and racism are becoming constants rather than diminishing as they should. However, in a time of great alarm and anxiety, no other place in the country can provide the level of security and assurance that is available here in the heart of Southern California.