GRAPHIC BY LAURO DEMB / SAGAMORE STAFF
“It is easier to come out as gay at this high school than to come out as Republican.” Those were the words of junior and member of the Young Republicans Club Raman Millky at the student council legislature campaign speeches in September.
The new Young Republican Club believes that politics and political arguments are very one-sided at the high school and it is trying to create a more politically educated and aware student body.
The club, which dissolved in 2014, was brought back by senior Donovan Michael Kirrane and juniors Sam Esquivel, Devin Roberts and Dante Schorge.
“This club was founded in a way to protest, in nature, because what we’ve seen at the high school doesn’t make us happy or included, politically, socially with the whole student body,” Esquivel said.
At meetings, the club takes on a democratic, town meeting style where members will propose topics and motions, and if they are seconded then they will be discussed or voted on. The club leaders are also in the process of drafting a club constitution that will be ratified by all members of the club.
The leaders of the club feel that as Republicans, they are unwelcomed and treated unfairly at the high school.
“You should be able to be who you are freely without the judgement of your school,” Kirrane said. “I have been asked to leave classrooms because I was voicing conservative views, teachers have stopped calling on me during political conversation because I represent Republican views that they do not believe in.”
One of the main goals of the club is to create a space for Republicans to voice their views and also keep the student body politically aware.
“I don’t think that it is easy to be a Republican at this high school and this club is a great way to make it easier for everybody. It’s important to ensure the political activism of BHS is still alive and this club helps do that,” Roberts said.
The club leaders have many long-term plans for the club such as hurricane relief fundraisers, campaigning for local Republican politicians and even organizing a school-wide political debate in the Robert-Dubbs Auditorium.
The leaders also feel that many of the assemblies and speakers that give speeches at the high school are very Democrat-focused.
“These are people speaking about things that everybody in the school already knows. I didn’t learn one thing from the assemblies last year and that’s no disrespect to the speakers themselves. I just think it wasn’t a productive use of our time. We go to Brookline, it’s curriculum now,” Roberts noted.
The club also focuses on school rules and policies that they see as unfair towards the student body.
“It feels like students being obligated to go to these assemblies is a little bit unnecessary. I think it’s ridiculous if your teacher makes you go, and if you don’t go you’re going to get an AWOL. They even took the Pledge of Allegiance out of school in the early 2000s because people were getting offended,” Esquivel said.
The club leaders hope that they can inspire more students in future years to speak out and voice their opinions in the high school.
“If we represent a good portion of the students now then there are bound to be even more in the years to come. We are the life of the party, and that’s why it’s important to have an outlet and to educate the Brookline youth on what it means to be a Republican and that it’s okay to be one,” Kirrane said.