PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 17-year-old high school student at Central High School in Philadelphia is upset with the way school administrators reacted to an article he published in the school newspaper criticizing the protests in Ferguson, Missouri.
Michael Moroz, who talked with Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, accused the school’s staff of abandoning him after the situation escalated online to threats and attacks.
“There was a large amount of backlash, an unprecedented amount, an unexpected amount of negative comments, not just criticizing the article’s point, which is fine, it was criticizing me as a person, attacking my character, threatening my safety, my future and all the rest of it. Also, the administration’s actions and the student body’s actions basically endorsed that backlash and gave into the mob.”
He feels the officials at Central acted improperly by removing his article from the school newspaper’s website, and later another that took the opposing viewpoint, rather than support him by calming tensions and working to further the discussion.
“It was my intent in writing the article to question an idea, the idea of the protests, not to attack any individual people or to attack any groups. That diversity of thought is really important in Central High School and any academic institution, any institution that claims to be elite, which Central High does. I was deeply disappointed with the way Central has reacted, the way the student body has reacted, in large part, and the way the administration has reacted, seeming to endorse one point of view over the other, as in endorsing the point of view in favor of the protests and censoring the point of view against it.”
Moroz wants his experience to motivate more people to speak out on issues they believe in rather than censor themselves.
“My hope for what happens as a result of this is not that more people decide to live their lives quietly and not speak up, but that more people decide this isn’t the way the run an institution. This isn’t the way to interact to people who you disagree with. And, regardless of your opinion about the issue, it’s important that we can have civilized discussion about this issue, which hasn’t happened at Central.”