Opinion: Anti-school decision

CJ Brown

The P.C. police strike again!

This time, they feel the need to attack the one week of the school year that we students enjoy the most. Winter Week is a long-standing WHS tradition that follows midterms. Midterms week is one of the most stressful times of the year, and the prospect of Winter Week around the corner is one thing that keeps students going.

Winter Week is supposed to be a week that brings the school together with events like a cappella, the hypnotist, the talent show and everyone’s favorite: K-Pop. On Tuesday of last year’s Winter Week, we watched Apollo 13, and the year before, students watched Selma. This year, our Student Council carefully selected a movie, a movie that would not offend anyone. A movie that we could all agree on: Cool Runnings.

Cool Runnings is a 1993 historical comedy about the 1988 Jamaican bobsled team, and the tremendous odds that they faced as a team that had never even seen snow before. The movie is a PG film released by Walt Disney Enterprises. It was approved for children eight and older by Common Sense Media.

This movie seems like something we can all tolerate, right? Wrong. Principal Allyson Mizoguchi sent out a school-wide email on Tuesday night informing students that the movie would not be shown due to “racial insensitivities.” Mizoguchi’s email was immediately ridiculed by multiple email responses, with over 200 “reply-all” emails sent by students. Not a single response was supportive of Mizoguchi’s decision, although a few were impartial.

After the enormous email response, Mizoguchi sent a follow-up email citing articles to support her decision to not show the movie. One article was written by the Washington Post in 1993. The other was an article from the Slate written in 2014. However, upon reading the articles, you will find things that actually contradict her original argument. The Washington Post article says, “thanks to its sun-bleached writing, [Cool Runnings] would have to work double time to really offend anyone.” This quote clearly contradicts the main idea that Principal Mizoguchi was trying to get across. As for the Slate article, its main reasoning for the movie being offensive was that it took a comedic stance on black people experiencing the cold. However, the true comedy lies not in race, but in the climate in which these people are born and raised. Jamaica is a tropical country and anyone who spent their whole lives in the tropics would be cold in such conditions as the Winter Olympics, regardless of color.

In the ninth grade, part of the WHS English curriculum involves the reading of the book Fahrenheit 451. This book is a dystopian warning about how the destruction of texts labeled as “offensive” could eventually lead to a destruction of knowledge as a whole. If we stop viewing things that offend certain people, then soon we will have a lack of original thought, as forewarned by Ray Bradbury. If the film was so “racist,” then we should have found a way to turn it into an educational opportunity, where students are taught about the dangers of stereotyping.

This was a truly terrible decision made by the WHS administration. They supposedly canceled the movie due to “racial insensitivities,” but these so-called insensitivities don’t even appear to exist. First, they took away our spear. Then they took away our limos. Now they take our movie. What’s next?

Opinion articles written by staff members represent their personal views. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent WSPN as a publication.