Reported by Henry Su
Young Americans for Freedom, or YAF for short, is a new club at East, advised by Mr. Hurley. YAF at East is a chapter of the nationwide parent organization, Young Americans for Freedom, which espouses and advocates for Conservative and Libertarian viewpoints. At East, YAF takes on a political forum format, where people discuss their perspectives on such pressing issues as Constitutional rights.
The most recent meeting was on September 17th after school in the library, with 55 students in attendance. This meeting focused on First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and expression, specifically the right to refuse to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. There was a consensus that every student has the right not to stand, and the discussion moved to whether or not this abstinence would be moral.
At this meeting, there were many contrasting viewpoints from students of many different backgrounds. Simon Li, a freshman, does not stand for the pledge. His reasons for not standing for the pledge include: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan which America has engaged in; the perpetual segregation of minorities; and the perceived religious overtones in the Pledge, which he believes violates separation of church and state. Yet, others opined that everybody should stand at least on such days as 9/11 to honor the victims of national tragedies. They believed that showing respect to victims was not mutually exclusive with protesting against injustice. The discussion then delved into the topic of race relations, specifically the US-Mexico border wall. After much great discussion, the meeting was dissolved.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 1. It will surely be worth attending.