Unlimited information impacts how students learn about, react to war in Ukraine


photo or infographic by Summer Rains

IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND. Staying updated on the latest information, senior Stephanie Keele looks at an Instagram post from @theworldwidetribe about the Ukrainian President.

Families displaced from their homes. 

Newlyweds rushing off to enlist. 

A baby being born in a subway station.

Grandparents coming to fight for their grandchildren.

As the Russian soldiers cross over the border and the lives of Ukrainians are turned upside down, the world moves it’s focus from the everyday hustle and bustle of life towards this country in need. The news is everywhere, from the TVs in living rooms of American homes to the phones and computers of each citizen. Society is watching a war play out in the palm of their hands for the first time ever. Information is flowing in by the second, and with just a few clicks, any search engine is ready to offer up the latest news on what is happening beyond the borders of the United States.

Around 5:00 a.m. EET on February 24, Vladimir Putin announced a “special military operation” in eastern Ukraine. Moments later, missiles were fired off and hit locations across Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv.

“I believe it’s incredibly sad what’s happening to the citizens of Ukraine,” senior Sam Skeide said. ”People are losing their lives for no other reason than Putin wanting to do it. In my opinion, he’s literally becoming Hitler, history is not supposed to repeat itself like that” 

It’s important to know that it is not the Russian people attacking Ukrainians, but the Russian Government, and that many Russians are doing their best to support Ukraine in its time of need. 

“It almost feels unreal that we could be on the brink of what could be World War III,” sophomore Ava Hardin said. “I keep thinking about what people in the times leading up to World War I and II must have felt, because I’m constantly hearing people compare this situation to theirs. I still don’t entirely know what’s going on but I do feel sorry for the Ukrainians being attacked and I really can’t even begin to imagine the way that they’re feeling right now.”

It almost feels unreal that we could be on the brink of what could be World War III.

— Ava Hardin, 10

Staying on top of the latest news is important, but it’s also important to note that many false reports are being posted on social media and people are getting scammed while trying to give to the cause. 

“I think the United States is doing all it can, providing money and resources,” senior Ainsley Patrick said.  “American citizens should be donating where they can and staying informed. If Russia sets foot in any neighboring country things will change very quickly.” 

The news stations aren’t the only ones reporting on the war in Ukraine. Many users on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram are sharing images and videos to inform viewers about the tragedies occurring between the Russian government and Ukraine. 

“I can place myself in students’ shoes because I was a young kid during the Vietnam War,” AP Psych teacher Andrea Eisinger said. “Every night I would sit down and watch the news with my parents, but these kids are being exposed to it everyday on every platform. I can’t imagine the anxiety that comes from getting play-by-play information like that. I think that there’s a fine line between being well informed and being overly stimulated and informed by this kind of information.”

During the State of the Union , President Joe Biden stated that American forces will not be fighting against the Russian government with Ukraine, but that American troops will be ready to fight if any of the NATO  countries are attacked.

“I think that it makes sense that we won’t deploy any soldiers unless the Russian government invades a NATO country,” Patrick said. “Starting a war with Russia is not what we need right now.”

Being able to witness history in the making can be eye opening for many students, especially since they haven’t lived through a global conflict like this before.

“It is crazy to think that we are complaining about miniscule things like not getting the snack we wanted or a store not having a shirt that we wanted in stock while there are kids being forced to go to war and dying for a fight they didn’t even ask for,” senior Jack Wiebe said. “We’re kids living in a first world country and we will probably never experience war the same way Ukrainians are now.”

For a foreign exchange student who is from Finland, it is difficult for her to know that her family is so close to a war and that there is nothing that she can do for them.

“Finland is not a part of NATO, and that hurts us,” junior Lara Laiti said. “It would be bad if we joined because we would become a target of the Russian government. Watching a war happen when I’m so far away is hard because my family is over there but I know that I’m safe here.”

The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is considered the Russian government’s number one target. He has stated that he will not leave his people and he is asking the world to speak out about the killing of civilians and Ukrainians. 

“I think that what’s happening to the Ukranians is awful, but I also think that they are showing the world what it truly means to be patriotic,” Patrick said. “Their resilience and strength is genuinely inspiring. I just wish that the needless violence would end.”