Nick Sandmann: Mocking or Peace-keeping?

Grace Yo, Writer

If you don’t already know, over last weekend, there was some controversy. Nick Sandmann, a junior in high school, was waiting for his bus with his classmates when a group of protesters reportedly started yelling “hateful things” at them. He and his classmates, with the permission of chaperones, starting chanting their school chant in response.  Another group of protesters from the Indigenous Peoples March were also at the area.  A man with the group, Nathan Phillips, who is Native American, tried diffusing the problem. He walked up to the group of boys, stood in front of Sandmann, and started chanting and beating his traditional drum. In a video that went viral, Sandmann is portrayed as a smirking boy looking over Phillips.

Sandmann says that he didn’t know what to do. He was confused and didn’t want to provoke Phillips by moving or blocking his way. He said he smiled to show that he wouldn’t get angry, intimidated, or be provoked. However, there seems to be another side to the story. Kaya Tatiana, a college student who participated in the Indigenous Peoples March, said that she did not feel safe in that circle and that the situation was incredibly tense. She said Sandmann refused to move and got in Phillips’ face.

There are two completely different sides of the story, but in the end, what happened still happened. There are multiple other videos out there showing what happened over a longer period of time. Now, Sandmann and his classmates are facing expulsion and much controversy has sparked. What do you think happened?

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