Wrong Place, Wrong Time

Ethan King, Writer

People should not have been so quick to judge the Covington Catholic High School boys without hearing the full story.


On January 18, a video surfaced showing students from Covington Catholic High School mocking Nathan Phillips, a Native American Elder, in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

The students’ lack of respect sparked national outrage and the teens faced expulsion from their school.

In the video, Philips was shown beating his drum in front of a crowd of high schoolers. Standing in front of him was junior, Nick Sandmann, who was staring at Philips with a smirk on his face.

All around him were his fellow high school classmates who were shouting and jeering.

This footage made it seem that the students were mocking Philips and being extremely disrespectful.

But the initial video did not show the whole story.

Prior to the confrontation, a small group of men, known as the Black Hebrew Israelites, shouted and made fun of the students.

The Native American elder, shown in the video, made his way into the fray and played the drum to soothe tempers in a potentially combustible situation.

I do not believe any of the students should suffer consequences as they seemed to handle the situation decently considering the circumstances.

The students were simply waiting for their bus before being verbally attacked.

Tensions were rising and things could have quickly gotten out of hand, so this was not the worst that could have happened.

Even so, the disrespect they showed Philips was wrong.

Their behavior here is something that should be fixed and apologies definitely need to be made.

Still, it is important to remember they are still young and, therefore, make mistakes.

One lesson that can be taken from this is don’t assume anything without knowing the full story.

A few seconds of video do not define what happened here. The small video was distasteful, but full context should have been understood before the media made assumptions. This would have been much less of a controversy had the full context of the story come out with the video.

The creation of social media has allowed people to see what they want to see. People can now easily follow and associate with people who have the same political beliefs and views.

This is why this video became so popular and spread so fast. Some people saw that the students were wearing MAGA hats and desperately wanted to make these kids who supported Trump seem racist, but they didn’t look at the full story.

Just because the boys were wearing these hats, they shouldn’t be treated any differently than someone who isn’t.

Lastly, it is is very sad to see our country being torn apart in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

During the Civil War, Lincoln united our country which was on the verge of destruction.

It is almost ironic that this confrontation took place in front of his memorial, as Lincoln represents tolerance and solidarity among the American people.