Student Highlights 'Shocking' Backlash After Classmate's Pro-Trump Comment During Debate
A California high school student said that a pro-Trump classmate received backlash after he voiced his support for a border wall during a class debate.
Shaina Chen, 17, said Saturday on "Fox & Friends" that during a debate about race in politics, the classmate stated: "We should build the wall."
Chen said the suggestion was met with "awkward silence" from the rest of her class.
She also detailed what happened in a New York Post opinion piece, in which she said students insulted the classmate and called him names.
Chen said Saturday that she didn't expect the reaction from her classmates, being that they attend a "diverse" school near liberal San Francisco.
"Just to have that happen, I was so surprised," Chen said.
There was discomfort in the hallway, but I noticed it was also the first time people continued a debate after class was over. In fact, this single statement led to weeks of discussion on race and the right degree of government involvement in race-related issues.
She said the reaction was "shocking" because she hadn't seen that type of opposition to free speech before in her school.
She also said that many teachers don't debate politics in their classes because it's a "sensitive" topic.
Chen wrote in her op-ed that as so many students today are opinionated, they've forgotten the value of a diversity of opinion.
"In a school that practices diversity in almost anything, we were really missing a huge chunk of diversity," Chen said.
Free speech is important, even — or, perhaps, especially — in high school, because it makes people uncomfortable. Discomfort sparks discussion and promotes an acceptance of the existence of different opinions.
She said that a diversity of opinion should be respected by everyone, and that those who can't are not open-minded or free-thinking.
Watch the segment above.