Staff Editorial: Ferguson

Peter Baugh, Editor-In-Chief

Eight miles is not very far. It just feels that way to most people in Clayton.

With such close physical proximity and connections to the Ferguson situation, Clayton citizens have a responsibility to know what is going on. People involved in the CHS community live in Ferguson. Our teams play sporting events there. We drive by it on the highways fairly regularly.

It’s safe to say that we don’t lack exposure.

In the Globe’s cover story, we explore different people’s perspectives on the Ferguson situation. For the article, we speak to those who have been directly impacted by what has happened in recent weeks. In various commentary pieces, we discuss what limitations the police should have. We look at social media’s role in what has become a national topic for discussion.

As shown in this issue of the Globe, there are plenty of chances to learn about what is happening. These chances to learn are unique to the St. Louis area. Our access and exposure to the situation is unrivaled by any other city in the country.

So we must take advantage of it. We must use our proximity to learn from these tragic events. We can advocate for political action. We can hold signs and protest peacefully. We are right in the thick of things, and we must take full advantage of our situation.

In late August, the city of Clayton was mentioned in the New York Times. Our small town of 16,000 people was discussed in one of the nation’s most influential publications. This does not happen every day.

When protests came to the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in downtown Clayton, students were told to stay away. A brief intercom announcement recommended that we avoid the protest, but glossed over the exact purpose of the demonstrations.

It is understandable that kids were discouraged from going to the protest site, but there should have been more discussion. Different students should have been given the chance to share their different perspectives.

Keeping quiet is not the approach that we should be taking. This situation is far from over. When the Grand Jury makes their decision, this story will likely make national headlines again. All perspectives on the issue should be brought up in classes and discussed, even if that means taking a break from scheduled curriculum.

The Ferguson case struck a nerve for many people. Years of racial tension and police distrust came forward in the form of protesting and rioting. Social media exploded. St. Louis made headlines in places across the entire country.

It would be ridiculous if we did not take full advantage of the events unravelling within a few miles of where we live as a chance both to learn and to grow.