The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

The Sage Publication is the student news site of Sage Creek High School in Carlsbad, CA

The Sage

Aspiring Future Leaders of America Club Temporarily Disbanded

AFLAC poses for a group photo outside on the grassy knoll.

The Aspiring Future Leaders of America Club, or AFLAC, has been unable to meet for the past several weeks due to controversy surrounding the club.

During Club Rush, several students were heard chanting “build the wall,” a direct reference to one of Donald Trump’s promises to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. These reports were followed up by Principal Mr. Morales, who discussed the issue with a representative of the club. He does not disagree with the sentiment of the club or its purpose, but he does not believe that sort of rhetoric belongs on a school campus.

“What we’re trying to build here at Sage Creek is an embracing student community that allows students to feel safe, comfortable, and that they belong,” Morales said. “[But] also a place where there can be disagreements on ideas and thoughts in a manner that’s respectful, responsible, and that takes our student community into account.”

The club originally met in the chemistry lab of teacher Mr. Keyes, but Keyes has since stepped down from the position. He was initially supportive of the club and its goals, however, he became slightly hesitant to take on the role, given his lab would not be able to host a large number of students.

“I was willing to have 10-15 students having debates on real topics,” Keyes said. “My first impression was that [AFLAC] was going to be a smaller club format, which I support.”

During a pep rally a couple weeks ago, a student began to chant using the phrase once again. This outburst occurred just after Principal Morales spoke about Sage Creek High School being an accepting environment of all ideas and beliefs. As controversy surrounding the club began to swell, Keyes became less comfortable advising the club and has since stepped down as club advisor. Some students took personal offense to the chant, including senior Jules Garner.

“This freedom of speech is offending people,” Garner said. “Regardless of your political views, no one really cares if you express them as long as you are not being derogatory about it towards a certain person because at that point, it begins hurting people’s feelings and causing a lot more issues than it needs to be.”

The Club Rush event was seen by many to be an indirect targeting of the Latino community, as “build the wall” has been used in reference to the community in the past. However, some believe that the chant has been blown out of proportion and misinterpreted, including senior and AFLAC president Evan Friedman.

“All it means is it’s emphasizing the importance of security,” Friedman stated. “Some people think it’s meant to block out a particular race, but that’s not really the intent.”

The chant lasted “five seconds” according to Friedman, and was from students that were not officially a part of the club. As a result, Friedman does not believe AFLAC is personally responsible for these statements. “Remember, these were kids that just signed up. These weren’t members of AFLAC,” Friedman stated.

Other students have also claimed that the club has a bias towards Trump, but others have stated this is not the case, including senior and club member Zachary Munitz.

“The goal is to open dialogue between different political parties whether you are a Conservative, Liberal, Republican, [or] Democrat,” Munitz said.

The club does not currently have an advisor, but they are hoping to have one in the near future. According to Friedman, it has been difficult to reach out to teachers on account of the events that have been associated with AFLAC.

“There are 100 kids that really, really want AFLAC to happen, and if it doesn’t happen, those 100 kids are being left abandoned,” Friedman concluded.

View Comments (10)

Comments (10)

The Sage intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Sage does not allow anonymous comments, and The Sage requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Sage Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • E

    Evan FriedmanFeb 20, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    The FAKE NEWS media (failing @theSage, @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!

  • E

    Evan FriedmanNov 30, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    By the way, contrary to what was reported, the TRUE purpose of my club is to promote entrepreneurship by bringing community leaders to address and inspire the students. I made that very clear in my interview with Jeremy, yet he failed to report it. I just want to clear up the misconception that this club is a political club with a bias towards Trump.

  • E

    Evan FriedmanNov 30, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    By the way, the club has NOT been disbanded. We are in the process of doing more to benefit society than any one person or group in the history of Sage Creek. Stay tuned

  • E

    Evan FriedmanNov 30, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    PLEASE publish my letter to the editor that you have been in receipt of for THREE days. I want my letter to be published as a new article on the front page of the SAGE. After all, no one has done more to promote tolerance and equality on campus than me.

  • H

    HannahNov 28, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Firstly, build the wall is NOT offensive. We are a country, we can defend our border. We can’t control how sensitive or reactive people are about border security. Secondly, since when was it a crime to support Trump? And finally, now that I know this club supports Trump, where can I sign up?

  • H

    HannahNov 28, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    Good, informative article.

  • J

    Jules GarnerNov 10, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I just want to say, that I deliberately said I wasn’t personally offended by them yelling “build a wall” however I knew people who were offended. And that it did not directly affect me at that time. I did say however I know
    some of the things they said did come across as negative, towards certain groups. And that I did not condone their actions. And that I had specifically spoken with their president in one of my classes and didn’t see the AFLAC clubs direct involvement linked to the chants. So in regards to me taking “personal offense” I did not.

  • T

    TonyNov 8, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    The analogy to ” building a wall ” and equating it to targeting the Latino community is offensive to me. I am of Latino descent and I must respectfully disagree with the author of this article. Mr Morales, or anyone else offended, if you think building a wall is offensive, then lead by example and tear down the walls securing the outside of your residence. It is political rhetoric, discussing the importance of securing our southern border. Stop the censorship immediately on campus !

    • S

      Sam BodnarNov 9, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Thank you for visiting “The Sage” and for leaving us feedback. Our writers who worked on this article, I must confess, utilized external opinions not relating to themselves. There was no censorship. Complaints against the chanting (the ones that came from our Latino community’s students) of “build the wall” felt that they were being indirectly targeted.

      That is NOT our perception of the complaints of what happened; its what happened and it is what they said. Whether you disagree with them is not my business, but our reporters displayed the Latino opinion which was received directly from their community as well as what AFLAC reported to us as a staff.

      We reported your perspective (Evan’s specifically) that AFLAC meant no harm and only wished to emphasize national security, but the authors exhibited absolutely zero bias.

      Lastly, the authors and the staff have never explicitly or specifically expressed that what you did was offensive. We never gave our opinion. We gave the opinions and facts that came directly from the students, our SCHS staff, and from AFLAC itself.
      Thank you,
      -Sam Bodnar Editor-in-chief

  • D

    Dominic CusanelliNov 8, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Frustrating that the actions of few club members are leading to punishments towards the entire club… I don’t think that’s fair at all