Cancel Culture for Teens

Almost every day, someone is getting “canceled” on social media for saying or doing the wrong thing, and the concept has now reached schools. 

As this idea becomes more common, it has created a variety of issues at Paul Laurence Dunbar. 

“It’s not so much of the word ‘canceled’ being thrown around, but it’s just the idea of it all becoming more popular at school,” junior Carrie Underwood said. 

Underwood said,  “When I repost something, people who disagree say that I’m ‘canceled’ or even tease me for having my own opinions.” 

Life skills teacher Ms. Katherine Blackard said that she sees students cancel each other based on something they’ve said or done.

“It prevents me from speaking my true mind,” sophomore Jake Smith said. 

While some students have received consequences for their actions, many argue that the severity of those consequences may be unjust.

“The repercussions can definitely be too severe when it starts outcasting and hurting those people,” Underwood said. “If you get canceled, and you try to explain, people won’t listen.” 

Ms. Blackard expressed concern for students who experience these issues.

“I don’t want that environment for the kids,” she said. “I want them to have a respectful view of everybody whether they like them or not.”

She also mentioned how social media can affect students in the future. 

“Students don’t understand that nothing that they put on social media is private. So if your future employers see you bashing somebody from school on social media, they are going to be more hesitant to hire you,” she said.

With these rising concerns for the future, it is unclear what people can do to speak their honest opinions without being judged.

“People should just be careful with what they say or do because you want to make sure that you are not offending anybody,” Smith said.

When it comes to dealing with students acting irresponsibly, Blackard said that she has an alternative to cancel culture. 

“If you don’t like somebody, you don’t have to talk to them. You just have to be polite and respectful.”