Equi-Tea Time Seeks to Combat Hate


Alexa Williams

Equi-Tea Time, the official name for an open mic responding to rising tensions at MHS, occurred on December 18 during ASR. The event was intended as an outlet for student voice.

Alexa Williams

In recent months, students and staff have felt a marked shift in the school’s atmosphere. From large-scale incidents – racial segregation of standardized tests, walkouts for sexual harassment, and a shooting threat – to classroom encounters, tensions and bitterness appear to be on the rise. While the administration has responded to the larger issues within the school community through announcements, emails, and videos, English teacher Chundou Her seeks to provide students an outlet.

On December 18, during both halves of ASR, Equi-Tea Time, an open mic held in the cafeteria, debuted at MHS. Organized by Her, the event was intended to give students a platform to amplify their voices. More specifically, a creative voice. Students were invited to create musical, visual, and literary performances to express their feelings about the recent happenings at MHS. In their work, Her often focuses on creative expression as a powerful tool to create change.

Although the event was initially organized in response to instances of the hate and rising tensions at MHS, many students took it as an opportunity to comment on broader social issues, speaking on topics such as feminism and depression.

Alexa Williams
Her, Equi-Tea Time’s organizer, closed out the open mic with a performance of Imagine by John Lennon. Feeling that the song appropriately reflected their feelings following recent instances of hate at MHS, Her sang the piece to their classes on December 18, as well.

The atmosphere of the open mic was laid-back, with music playing in between student performances. Hot chocolate, coffee, and tea were made available as students mingled around a few cafeteria tables. When students felt comfortable, they walked up to the microphone and began their performance. These ranged from a mandolin performance of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to orations on broader social issues. Some students recited existing works, while others composed and presented original works.

Few performances directly addressed the recent occurrences within our school community. Surprisingly, mental health took the spotlight as the most visited topic during the open mic. 

Notably, interim principal Mrs. Shoemaker made an appearance at the open mic, reading a poem on bullying and suicide. Others shared original work, such as junior Eugenia Bukham’s poem on teenage depression.

Moving forward, Mr. Her hopes to continue providing a creative, safe space for students to express themselves by making Equi-Tea Time a monthly occurrence.