The Student News Site of Freedom High School



Matt the Minute of Silence Man

Matt Fegan’s Twitter page, where he expresses his thoughts about the moment of silence situation.

It’s a well known fact that everyday, Freedom High School observes a minute of silence during the morning announcements. Most students ignore the minute of silence, but it can be used to pray or simply to put one’s head down and rest. One student in particular, junior Matt Fegan, has been timing the minute of silence since the beginning of the school year.

Fegan noticed that the school was not timing the minute accurately each day. As Feb. 24, the minute of silence total time is 20.47 minutes short.

Enrolling in Freedom High School for the first time this year, Fegan was intrigued when he read about the minute of silence in the student rights and responsibilities. Fegan started timing the minute of silence on Sept. 13, and he noticed it was only 42 seconds long.

Fegan believes the minute of silence can be important for students, and that students should always be granted their full minute.

“It can be nice to have the minute to settle down, collect yourself and get into the right mindset for learning,” Fegan said. “It’s important that they’re receiving the full amount of time allotted to them by the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Many of the staff and administration take the minute of silence very seriously. In fact, the front office refuses to take calls during the moment of silence, out of respect. Principal Douglas Fulton wants to ensure that the shortened minute of silence was nothing purposeful, simply a matter of miscalculation.

“Usually we start it right when the bell rings,” Fulton said, “But we’re not always accounting for the 15 seconds or so when we say we’ll begin the moment of silence.”

Though the school has been improving their measurement of the minute of silence, Fegan says that students should continue to make their thoughts heard and remind administration that they’re entitled to a full minute every day. He even suggested that if nothing is done to fix the loss of time during the minute of silence, students have the right to walk out in protest.

“After all, we’re entitled to 21 minutes of silence that we never received, so it makes perfect sense that we’d claim that time back,” Fegan said.

Protesting these lost minutes of silence could be great for students who feel passionately about the issue. However, staff feels that many students don’t properly participate in the minute of silence in the first place.

“Students who are talking or doing something that is not silent are in violation of what the state law is [concerning the minute of silence],” Fulton said.

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