The Student Prints

The Student News Site of Sylvania Northview High School

The Student Prints

The Student Prints

May 4th Voices

May 4th Voices

On May 4, 1970, National Guardsmen at Kent State University fired 67 shots into a group of protesters killing four students and wounding nine in a matter of 13 seconds. 

While the Kent State Massacre was an event that sparked major controversy throughout the United States, it’s not a topic that is covered thoroughly in school.

When talking about the Vietnam War in American History, my teacher mentioned that the shooting had happened because students were protesting the war, but it wasn’t something that was emphasized. 

So, when I read the script for the All Ohio play, I realized how detrimental this event was to both the students and the National Guard. I also wondered why it wasn’t talked about much in schools.

The All Ohio play, entitled May 4th Voices, was written based on word for word speeches from the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project. It places audience members into the shoes of the students, the National Guardsmen, the residents at Kent State, and even some of the staff. 

Because the play is based on real students’ words, it is extremely important to memorize the lines as written. This makes sure the cast is portraying an accurate depiction of what happened on the days leading up to May 4, what happened during the shooting, and what happened following the tragedy.

Even though the Kent State shootings influenced many things in our country, there are only so many days of school to learn about everything that has happened in America, so it is not realistically possible to dedicate a ton of time to this one event. However, as a student involved in the production, I highly encourage everyone to read the play and learn more about what happened at Kent State University.

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