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Heather Hayes, student at Columbia University.

While walking down Chelan Avenue last year, I stumbled upon a group of presumably high school-aged students holding a protest for increased climate policy. As I watched the protest unfold, a group of counter-protestors emerged next to the group. As the exchange unfolded, it appeared to escalate. The protestors began waving their signs while the counter-protestors began arguing more audibly. By the time I walked away, a scene that had started peacefully had grown into a verbal conflict.

As many rural residents will tell you, combative scenes like this are common in our communities. At schools, parks, or busy intersections, political tensions seem to be growing between conservatives and liberals.

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