Liberty & Justice For All? Staples Responds to Gadhafi’s Death

Liberty & Justice For All? Staples Responds to Gadhafi’s Death

Libyan people celebrate the death of the Libyan fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli, Libya, October 20, 2011. Mahmoud Jibril, head of the Libyan National Transitional Council’s executive committee, confirmed Thursday that former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was killed in gun battle in his hometown Sirte.

On the morning of Oct. 20, Staples students weren’t talking about the girls’ soccer senior day shenanigans, nor were they complaining about the new cafeteria electronic purchasing system.

“Some random senior girl shouted it out in the middle of my AP Government class, and my Middle East teacher confirmed it the period after,” Ross Dener ’13 said.
German teacher Carol Kochefko heard the news when “a group of students came into [her] classroom and mentioned it in the middle of [her] lesson.”

By second period, word of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi’s death was spreading like wildfire through the halls of Staples High School.

Staples students and teachers alike have had mixed responses to the death of the Middle Eastern tyrant that has been in the the news since the beginning of the year.

“I really don’t care,” Dener said. “I don’t think it will have any effect on America. It’s good for the world, great for Libya, but it doesn’t really do anything for us.”
Conversely, Olivia Crosby ’15, who had not  gotten word until the third lunch wave, believes that “it will definitely have an effect.”
Phoebe Corde ’13, who found out about Gadhafi’s death on a phone call with her father, furthers Crosby’s notion, adding that it will be “a good thing” that Gadhafi will no longer be ruling over the Libyan citizenry.
Some students report hearing the news via social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. Jeremy Heitz ’12, who posted a link to a Yahoo! News article on Gadhafi’s death to his Facebook profile, believes that Gadhafi ultimately got what he had coming for a long time.
“He effectively asked for this end when he abused his power and hurt his countrymen and women,” Heitz said.
During her commute, social studies teacher Cathy Dancz heard on National Public Radio (NPR) that rebels had taken over Sirte, Gadhafi’s hometown. During her first period Middle East Studies class, Dancz’s students were buzzing with news of Gadhafi’s death. She had to follow her lesson plan, however, and told them that the class would be able to talk about it tomorrow “once we had conclusive evidence.”
When she was finally able to access a computer, the story of Gadhafi’s demise was front page on Yahoo! News. Her reaction, she says, was not one of celebratory patriotism, like that of many Americans following Osama bin Laden’s death.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever had a reaction like that to somebody’s death,” Dancz said. “I take a more analytical approach.”
Although Dancz is unsure of what the global response will be to Gadhafi’s death, she says it will be “interesting” to observe the ripple effect.

Heitz believes that in terms of national and Libyan security, a “power vacuum” may open up in the North African country.

“But,” Heitz said, “I think that if the right steps are taken, the right parties can take control and steer Libya away from danger.”

Earlier that morning, says Reuters, Libyan rebels overran Gadhafi’s home, killed him and looted his corpse, and sent cell phone images of his bloodied remains out to the world. Gadhafi was shot in both legs and in the head, says National Transitional Council media spokesman Abdullah Berrassali.

Some say Gadhafi’s death marks the end of the violent Libyan Civil War, which began in February between loyalists and opponents of Gadhafi.