Letter From The Editors: February 28, 2021

February is a month filled with flowers, chocolates, and love. It’s a month to share valentines, celebrate new and old romances, and watch rom-coms with best friends. February is also the month we honor our past presidents on Presidents’ Day, enjoy the long weekend, and hopefully remember the birthday of George Washington on the 22nd. In fact, there are other celebrations in February at least as important, if not more so, that are important to focus upon. 

February is Black History Month. It is a time in which our country highlights and celebrates the accomplishments of Black Americans. Many Americans, especially Black Americans, rightly point out that their stories and contributions have been left out of the history books. Black history is American history. Americans should know and understand this side of the narrative and the contributions Black Americans have made in creating and continuing to create today’s United States. Surely, Kamala Harris’ swearing-in as Vice President is an important moment, not just Black history, but American history.  

Americans face a racial and civil rights reckoning in the aftermath of the police killings of Black people, including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Now, more than ever, it isn’t enough to say you are not a racist. We need to ask ourselves how to become anti-racists and put in the work to achieve that goal in ourselves and in our community. If we are dedicated to fighting systemic racism—racism embedded in institutions such as law enforcement and education—we must intentionally and continually work towards equality for all races. We have to be anti-racist.

Journalism has become more important than ever in advancing anti-racism. The Mayfield Crier has published stories calling attention to racial discrimination within our community and our country. Mayfield Senior plans to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in our curriculum in new and different ways going forward. There is much work to be done but this is an important step as we work to be anti-racist. This year, it has been our goal at the Crier to draw attention to and discuss issues of race in our community and in our history to unite our Mayfield community together not only to support the BIPOC members of our community but also to further educate ourselves and advocate for more dialogue and change as we learn about what it means to be anti-racist. 

February is an important month to the Crier staff for another reason. February 26 is Student Press Freedom Day, a day to celebrate the reporting of student journalists. Student Press Law Center (SPLC), an organization founded in 1974 to support student journalists, launched the first annual Student Press Freedom Day two years ago. The day recognizes the crucial work of student journalists and the need for their ability to work without censorship or intimidation. SPLC designates a specific theme each year for this day, the 2021 theme being “Journalism Against the Odds.” The theme acknowledges the rise in censorship and prior review policies. Student Press Freedom Day spotlights student journalists particularly when reporting on issues of race, justice, protests, and politics, this year during a global pandemic. 

Student Press Freedom Day is particularly important this year as our staff has reported, and intends to continue reporting, on crucial events surrounding issues of race, justice, history, and politics.  

The Crier invites the entire Mayfield community to read more about Student Press Freedom Day, and to support the vital role student journalists play.

In this edition of the Mayfield Crier we have written articles about Valentine’s day movies and budding fashion trends, community service through the Magnify Your Voice app, continued coverage of the Covid-19 vaccine, and curriculum changes related to slavery and race. There is light at the end of this tunnel as we may be returning to campus and the Crier is here to report on it all. Thank you for your continued support!