By: Shalom Montero
Kony came to Tuscarora High School with a bang and stayed a week before slipping away never to be seen again. Most people would say that they do not pay attention in Advisory; however, that is clearly not the case because the days following the video clips about Invisible Children, there was a huge commotion all over Facebook. Kony came to be seen by hundreds of kids all over Loudon County, not to mention the rest of the world.
“He brainwashes young children to fight [in] his rebel army,” says Kelvin Irizarry. This is what most students at THS would say when asked who Kony was; however, this is not the entire truth. For over 10 years he has taken boys and girls from their homes, acquired power arms, and given them to the children. The boys were taken and had to kill their family and devote their lives to Kony in order to be allowed to live. The girls were taken along and used as slaves, where they would be raped countless times. This is no life a child should go through, and Kony did this with a multitude of children. This is the reason why they were called invisible, because who helped them through this?
After watching the video in Advisory, many Tuscarora students went to the official Invisible Children’s website, found the video, and spread it all over Facebook and twitter. The days following Advisory, THS’s student population printed Kony pictures and taped them to their backpacks, walls, and lockers. Some kids were even seen with the Invisible Children’s wristband, sold on the organization’s website. The kit costs $30.00 and includes a couple of other things besides the wristband. The wristband individually costs $10.00. The money does not fully go to the kids in Africa, but information like that is open to the public on Invisible Children’s website.
The fact that students are not finding out all the information about Kony is another problem. Is THS more interested in gossip or facts? A THS student commented that Kony was just a guy from Africa who gives guns to boys. No, this is not the whole truth. Kony used boys and girls for things far more brutal than just holding a gun. Also, we should take into account how long ago those videos were made and when it was that Invisible children started a petition to bring soldiers to Uganda.
One of our very own Tuscarora students, Jannen Herman, was the secretary of Loudon County High School’s Invisible Children club. Having known about Invisible Children for a while now, Herman’s comment about the Advisory video seemed vital. “[I was] angry… the video presented wasn’t totally accurate. Many said the kids are still at war, but they are not. They have been brought home.” This shocked me. No one had told me this before, and why is it that this had not been said?
“Invisible Children is actually fighting for the education of those kids. People have been freaking out saying that Invisible Children is a fraud [when] they are building schools for those kids.” Jannen has a great point here. If we had stayed and listened to the whole story and not just half of it, we would have been a little bit more aware and less likely to judge an organization that is helping kids without an education and bringing them the things they need.
Kony is not a good guy, and of that we are sure, but Invisible Children has been doing what it can not only to bring those children home but to help them grow into the teachers and thinkers that they can be. THS believes in R.I.S.E: Respect, Integrity, Service, and Excellence. How is RISE different from what they are doing?