Below is a video of students from Santa Monica College being pepper sprayed due to their protests about the school raising the cost of classes. The students chanted “Let us in, let us in” and “No cuts, no fees, education should be free.” How can this be the land of freedom of speech when it seems like when our children lift their voices in protest they are met with violent opposition?

Trustee David Finkel called on campus officials to look into Tuesday evening’s events. “I think it gave the college a black eye which I know it didn’t deserve and certainly didn’t need,” he told the Associated press.

This is the second time a pepper spaying incident at a college caught national attention. The first time was at UC Davis in November, in which an officer doused a row of student protesters with pepper spray as they sat passively, drew worldwide attention. In another incident of protest earlier this week, students from a Detroit high school were suspended for demanding a better education. Our children are trying to stand up for what they believe in, in a positive way instead of resorting to violence. That is what they have been taught, but when they do they are punished. Then we wonder why they decide to lash out in violence in order to get their points across.

As a nation it is beyond contradictory to empower our young people to use their voices and then attempt to silence them by any means necessary. It is an atrocity and only disheartens our children into believing that they can make a change and speak up for what they believe in.

They should be applauding for standing for something instead of falling for anything.

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