Students take a stand during soapbox showcase
MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Students from across the Upper Peninsula spoke about important issues on Monday.
Kaufman Auditorium hosted the 6th Annual Tom Baldini Soapbox Showcase. Marquette, Negaunee, Munising and Houghton High School students spoke about topics from gun control to mental health to bullying.
Organizer Blythe Raikko said students are interested in these topics, but they aren’t invited to discuss them.
“This is the future voters of America, the future agents of change,” Raikko said. “We need to tap into the wisdom and empathy and all of the good things students have going.”
Community leaders acted as judges and voted on the presentation that resonated with them.
Marquette Senior High School Junior Alaura Welch was one of 10 students who took a stand at the showcase. She won with her speech about sexual abuse and harassment.
“I believe if schools stopped validating boys getting distracted by what we wear, they would realize their thoughts and actions are not okay at a young age,” Welch said. “And, as they grow older, their subconscious mind would know that that would be unacceptable.”
Welch explained she picked her topic based on the shared experience from her and her classmates.
“If you talk to any girls in school or anything, we’ve all had some sort of experience with it,” Welch said. “So, I just feel it was a good topic to cover.”
Welch said she recommends other students use the opportunity to talk about what they’re passionate about.
“It’s just great that people are starting to talk about more heavy subjects like this instead of pretending that they don’t exist,” Welch said.
Rayko said she wants even more schools to get involved next year.
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