The Dying Elephant in the Room: The Need for a Green New Deal

Failing to recognize the importance of addressing climate change means failing to recognize the importance of our futures, the beauty of the world around us and our privilege in ending this fight. The position of our school in the nation’s capital means we are not necessarily the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, but we are in a unique situation where we can directly influence lawmakers to fight it. Major corporations, like those in the fossil fuel and food production industries, continue to leak pollutants into the atmosphere, land and water with little to no regulations. There are

Why GDS Should Teach About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the most pervasive yet glossed over subject matters at GDS. Of course, given the vexed nature of the issue, the school’s behavior is understandable; even the name of the conflict is contentious, as it recognizes two nations whose very existences are debated. However, the lack of education about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at GDS is an incredible disservice to the school, as it breeds negative effects in our own community and sends students out to college and beyond unprepared. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the oldest and most salient political and historical conflicts in

Fewer Guards, More Laws

When my family and I went to Greece last June, we visited the Beth Shalom synagogue in Athens, only to find that the building was surrounded by a tall fence. We asked the security guard on duty if we could go inside, but he said that visitors were not allowed without an appointment and proof of identification. We tried to bargain with the guard, telling him that we’re Jews from America who just wanted to see a Greek synagogue and would only stay for a few minutes, but he wouldn’t budge. It wasn’t up to him, he told us: it

Arm Teachers With Pencils, Not Guns

13 dead at Columbine. 26 dead at Sandy Hook. 32 dead at Virginia Tech. And now 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Following the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida this past February, the Trump administration proposed arming teachers with guns as a way to prevent future school shootings. As students continue to be shot in the hallways of a place meant for learning, Americans are in agreement that something needs to be done. But the answer is never more guns. Even with prior training, no teacher should be permitted to carry a firearm in a school as a means

The Downfall of Mark Allen-Gifford and the Rise of #MeToo

On March 12th, 2017, Russell Shaw emailed GDS parents saying that middle school history teacher and high school coach Mark Allen-Gifford had been arrested the previous day for sexual misconduct against a student. Hours later, C.A. Pilling emailed high school students, relaying the same news. Within a week, news sources like WJLA, NBC4 Washington, WTOP and the Washington Post all broke the updated story: the eighth-grade teacher was detained for meeting a 14-year-old girl outside of school “several times,” talking about sex with her, kissing her, and allegedly touching her thigh. Even one year later, the GDS community, and the

“Hello From the Other Side” Why does the Military Support Donald Trump?

“Love Trumps Hate!” On November 10th, two days after Donald Trump was named the 45th President of the United States, I marched in downtown Washington D.C. alongside fellow Georgetown Day School classmates in response to the election outcome. With my metrocard and sign in hand, I chanted at the top of my lungs as my feet became sore from marching up and down the streets of D.C. Flash forward to January 21st, and I was in the same position, only this time I was surrounded by hundreds of thousands of women in the historic Women’s March. Having gone to bed

The Era of Good Feelings: Guest Speakers at GDS

GDS has long been seen as a progressive school, a place where new, less-mainstream ideas are not only accepted, but embraced. This means that when a student feels one way or another about a certain topic, the student should feel free to voice his or her opinion without the fear of being ostracized or ridiculed by peers. A large portion of GDS’s student body is politically liberal, but political conservatives also make up a significant part of our community. However, many conservatives at GDS find themselves hesitant to express their views because their ideas clash with the liberal ethos of

The Progressive Case for Caps and Gowns

As June approaches and GDS begins to send out letters about graduation, our seniors start to think about what to wear for the big event. On that day, family, teachers, and friends gather by the hundreds–a group so large that the GDS community moves to a local auditorium rather than hold the graduation on campus–to say a final farewell to the graduates who are headed off to their next stage in life. The boys default to their best suit and tie. For the girls, the longstanding custom is a white dress–unless a girl is feeling radical and decides to wear

Together but Unequal: Why We Don’t Talk about Wealth

As prom approached, people talked about what they would be wearing, eating, how they would be getting places–and what it would all cost. What are students willing to pay to make a single night of high school “special?” And more to the point, what can students (or their parents) realistically afford? Of course, limitations for each student are different, but this is often overlooked. A $70 dinner is proposed on the assumption that everyone will be able to pay. Expectations that everyone pitch in for a $500 limo are made without a thought about how hard it might be for