Minnetonka Student Opinions on Sexual Misconduct Allegations in News

Annika Larson, Staff Writer

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Sexual misconduct allegations have peppered the media lately. Prominent men such as Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken have lost their jobs due to accusations against them, leading to divide and uproar amongst the public. One doesn’t have to work to find tweet upon tweet regarding this issue from politicians across the spectrum of opinion, but what do students at Minnetonka think? These questions are what led me to ask students about their opinions and experiences.

When asked her opinion about the women who had come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, Julia Patterson, ‘19, said, “It makes me sad that is been going on for so long…but I’m glad but now [the accused] are getting the consequences they deserve, finally, and I’m glad that people are speaking out.”

There was a general consensus that there should be even harsher punishment for those who have committed sexual crimes.

“They are walking free and are out there, they could possibly assault someone else. They should go to trial,” said Patterson.

When asked if harassment was a problem at MHS, Patterson replied, “It definitely is. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets worse now. Women are taking a stand and going with feminism and women’s rights; some men are counteracting that by treating women as objects and less than.”

How can we prevent this kind of misconduct from happening in the future? Linnea Kronzer, ‘19, responded, “I think it starts at a young age. ‘Oh, that boy is shoving that little girl to the ground! Ha, so funny, so cute!’ No. You have to take it seriously and cultivate respect from young age.”

Patterson even suggested, “a Beyond 140 on how to speak up and how to like respect people’s boundaries.”

How will these allegations and the changes triggered by them change the experience of women in the workplace or at school?

Kronzer said, “In day to day situations, because of all these famous people being called out for it, it will make it easier and normal to call out regular people. In the workplace today, it will be easier to call out questionable behavior.”

As students, it is our responsibility to make the next generation better and to improve society. Respecting each other, regardless of gender, is so vital to making our high school experience positive.

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