Student Opinions on Syria

Chemical bombs, evil dictators, and the most recent breakup. Believe it or not, these are the things that Staples students are talking about.

 

U.S involvement in Syria is an issue that has been thoroughly debated over the past several weeks, not only by Congress, but by the Staples community as well.

 

The topic has been discussed thoroughly within the walls of the school, and applied to many social studies courses. Senior Will Johnson says his AP US History class discussed how George Washington would have felt about President Obama’s desire to invade Syria.

“It was really cool being able to talk about a current event in what I expected to be only a history based course. I guess it goes to show how important the situation in Syria is,” Johnson said.

 

Many more students have been able to formulate an opinion on the situation in Syria as a result of their enrollment in the Middle Eastern studies course offered at Staples.

 

Will Haskell ‘14 said, “I definitely have learned a lot from discussions in ‘MidEast’ about the Syrian conflict. MidEast has helped me to put the current crisis into historical and social perspective. We have connected what’s happening in Syria to things happening in the Staples community, as well as American history. It’s helpful to have a class where we can discuss the issue in depth.”

 

Fellow senior Ethan Mellin agrees that his MidEast class has involved him more in the Syrian conflict. “MidEast didn’t change my views, so much as inform them, and make them more nuanced—less black and white. I wouldn’t know everything I do about the issue without a whole class period to discuss it,” Mellin said.

 

Haskell personally believes that the U.S should not conduct military strikes into Syria. “Though Assad violated international law, the United Nations, not the United States, is responsible for punishing him,” Haskell said.

On the other hand, Mellin believes that the new deal putting Syria’s chemical weapons under international control and subsequent destruction is a good diplomatic step.  “I think it is important that the US does something. However, I’m uneasy about the fact that the first 100,000 deaths in the Syrian Civil War can be excused, because they were by bullets and bombs, while the 1,400 by sarin gas are the only ones we notice, and kind of care about,” Mellin said.

 

Although opinions on the Syrian crisis may vary, Staples students are definitely aware of what’s happening overseas. The social studies curriculum at Staples has furthered students’ understanding of foreign issues, resulting in a student body where the new Kardashians episode is not the most important thing on their mind.