The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.

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The Saftey Pin Phenomenon

Leah Dunbar, '18, Staff Writer

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Whether you agree or disagree with the recent outcome of the 2016 presidential election, it is impossible to deny the intense emotions and fear that the election generated. Many Americans are afraid not only for the United States itself, but also for specific groups of people. With the incoming administration threatening to deport millions of, Muslims and so-called “radicalists” being targeted, and members of the LGBTQ alliance facing possible loss of major advances made in the past years, it is difficult to find anyone who is not afraid for the upcoming four years. Despite this, I am very proud to say that the American people have taken action to face their fears. With safety pins.

You may be asking yourself, how much can a safety pin really do? You would be surprised. Although just a little piece of metal, these safety pins are doing more than one can imagine. As students at Strath Haven High School, we are in one of the safest communities in the country. Without denying the struggles many Strath Haven students endure each year, we can acknowledge that the majority of us have not experienced the kind of fear or discrimination that millions of men, women, and children are currently enduring nationwide. These individuals face harassment or even violence on the part of the police, hate crimes, and a hostile government. They may feel that they have nowhere to turn. That is where the safety pin comes in.

By wearing a safety pin on your shirt, jacket, or bag, you can tell these people that they can come to you. Whether you are walking someone to their car, listening to their grievances, or simply not giving them dirty looks, by wearing this tiny piece of metal, you are giving them a safe haven. Just in the past month, thousands of Americans across the country have taken the easy step to set a package of safety pins in their car, allowing them to easily stick one on their jacket when they go out.

Sounds pretty easy right? Yet people are still refusing to participate. While some claim that such a small accessory can have no impact and others have never heard of the movement, millions of individuals being threatened by America’s President Elect and his more devout supporters struggle to find people to talk to without fear of judgement or discrimination. Although the thousands of people wearing these safety pins represent only a fraction of Americans, their actions still have a significant positive impact. Members of the movement are connecting over such a small accessory, despite knowing nothing else about each other, supporting one another and forming valuable new friendships.

To look on the bright side, if nothing else, look at this movement as a positive outcome of the election. No matter which candidate won the election, the fear the safety pin movement hopes to address would exist. Go out, buy yourself a two dollar package of 100 safety pins, and wear them. Provide men, women, and children with a person to talk to, a person to feel safe around. If you can’t do it for them, do it for the future of the country and the knowledge that a nation of fearful citizens will result in nothing but abuse and degradation.

The student newspaper of Strath Haven High School. The Panther Press is first and foremost a reflection of the opinions and interests of the student body. For this reason, we do not publish any anonymous or teacher-written submissions, and we do not discriminate against any ideology or political opinion. While we are bound by school policy (and funding), we will not render any article neutral, although individual points may be edited for obscene or inflammatory content. Finally, the articles published in the Panther Press do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or advisors.
The Saftey Pin Phenomenon