Every morning, the students of Oswego High School are asked to stand for the “pledge of allegiance, followed by a brief moment of silence.” Everybody stands and cooperates; however, nobody even attempts to do anything during the “moment of silence” because it’s basically non-existent. It’s the same routine day after day, but the problem is that the moment of silence is just too brief.
There are many students I know at OHS who are religious. Even though not everyone practices a religion, a moment of silence in the morning is nice to have for everyone. Every morning, this “silent” time is three seconds or less. For instance, the other morning IT WAS LITERALLY ONE SECOND LONG. I TIMED IT. The main idea of the moment of silence is so people who want to say a prayer can do so without interruption, and if you are not religious, you can simply use this time to think about having a good day.
The New York Times once wrote an article on the morning moment of silence, and stated that to some people, the moment of silence is very important. These people use the time to either pray or think about things that are currently going on in their lives. This is barely fulfilled with the amount of time given to the students every day. I personally think it’s better to just wait until after the whole spiel is over, because as soon as you start reflecting in your head, you get interrupted by a secretary. If you’re going to have a moment of silence, make it at least eight to 10 seconds out of respect for those who actually use that time to reflect.
Even students who are not religious could benefit from a longer moment of silence. They can use this time to think about any family members or friends they may have lost recently, or any sacrifices they have made to better themselves or others. For example, after 9/11, the moment of silence would have been very beneficial across the nation for students who lost a loved one due to the tragic events that occurred that morning. Many students have family members who have enlisted in the military, and have potentially lost their lives. Even people who don’t have a family member in the military can be given the opportunity to silently thank those who sacrifice their lives on a daily basis for their freedom. Another example would be for anyone who had just recently lost a loved one, and would like the extra time to reflect on their lives and ensure themselves that everything is going to be OK.
A longer moment of silence in the morning is definitely not on everyone’s list of improvements needed for this school, but I definitely feel like people would benefit from a slightly longer opportunity to reflect. People who are religious can pray, people who want to think can think, and people who want to plan their day can plan their day. All I’m trying to say is what is the point of even stating you have a moment of silence to reflect if currently, the time provided makes it useless? The moment of silence needs to be made longer for the sake of students who could potentially benefit from it.