“Kony 2012″ sparks opposing views among teens
According to their website, the goal of Invisible Children is “to end the use of child soldiers in Joseph Kony’s rebel war and restore Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)-affected communities in Central Africa to peace and prosperity.” On Monday March 5, 2012, the group released their video to YouTube and that same day the video began to spread virally. As of March 17, the video has received over 81 million views.
Among the students attempting to raise awareness is junior Sydney Wesley. Her interest in the campaign started when she saw how the video was trending worldwide on Twitter, so she decided to watch the thirty-minute video.
“I was stunned because most people don’t think of the severe ways that people die or even child soldiers,” said Wesley. “And just to think that these kids were forced into being soldiers, [Kony] scared them by making them watch their loved ones die.”
The same night that Wesley watched the video, she stayed up and crafted posters that she then hung up around the school the next day to inform other students. These posters were taken down because they did not go through the appropriate approval process, but later, more posters were hung that had been approved.
Wesley will also be participating in “Cover the Night” at midnight on April 20. This event will be taking place in several locations throughout Indiana. According to Wesley, that night she will meet others in support of the Stop Kony 2012 campaign and “cover” Indiana with posters and stickers to raise awareness.
For junior Eric Need, he is not in support of the campaign because he found it hard to trust. The fact that it became popular through a video made by the campaign leader and there was no other major support caused Need’s suspicions to rise. He is avoiding watching the video because he sees it as a form of propaganda.
“I think the posters don’t really show the story, so they don’t really help [the cause],” said Need. “Not all of the students are well informed, but I think people have good intentions but don’t always know the whole story.”