Man on the Street: Student Protest

On Friday, September 23, North Springs students held a sit-in in the Commons to protest racial injustice in American society. That evening, Principal Hanson issued the following email to the North Springs community:

 

“Late this morning, a group of students held a peaceful protest in our school hallways in response to a rumor that a student, who was wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt, had been asked to remove it by an administrator. This was not true. We support our students’ freedom of expression as long as it does not create a school disruption. However, the rumor caused students to begin a peaceful sit-in. At its height, it lasted about 45 minutes but there are still a few students remaining. Students and staff have been respectful throughout, and while this caused a slight disruption to the normal school day, it is not impacting instruction for the rest of the school.”

On Tuesday, September 27, Mr. Hanson sent a follow-up message in his weekly newsletter:

“As a follow up to the message I sent Friday afternoon –  on Friday during 4th period, students held a peaceful protest supporting Black Lives Matter in our hallways. About 200 of our 1600 students participated in the protest for about an hour.  As we are finding out, students had been planning this protest during the week in conjunction with the “Black Out” we were promoting for our home football game against Carver this past Friday. There was an unverified rumor about a student being asked to remove a shirt that had a Black Lives Matter message. We continue to research where this rumor started. As a school, we support our student’s First Amendment rights. I am proud of all of our students for how they acted during this peaceful protest.”

The Oracle asked North Springs students and faculty how they felt about the events of last week.

“I feel like [the protest] shouldn’t have been in school; it should have been outside of school, but I think they made a difference in the school and [the protest] made a pretty big impact on the administrators because they are acting kind of different.” -Josh Vinson, 12

“I think everyone has a right to say how they feel and to have an opportunity to be heard, and I think any time you do that with an end goal of moving forward and having positive change it’s a good thing. I think a lot of students feel that’s what they wanted.” -Ms. Holloway, Business Instructor

“I’m glad they did it. They were sticking up for what they believe in.” -Benny Moses, 11

“I think it’s a great progress for the student body. I was impressed by how peaceful and well-organized it was on such short notice.” -Max Friedman, 12

‘…I think the protest was a little “wrong place wrong time.’ I thought it was a little too much in my opinion. There were some people in the protest who were just there to skip classes.” -Josh Izenson, 11

“I felt that it was very powerful and it needed to happen right then…If it was organized, it would have been shut down immediately.” -Myron Parker, 12

“I think that it was definitely necessary because of what’s happening in the world…they were doing the right thing.” -Ilene Tuck, 12

“For a football player not to be able to participate I feel like that was unfair because, you know, it’s a free country and we should be able to do whatever we want to do.”   -Cortez Roberts

“It became less about [an issue] and more became, you know, we want to protest issues and protest with a purpose…Being black in America is a crime in itself” -Alana Wright Howard

“It’s weird for a school that’s this diverse to have so much racial tension; to be so segregated.” -Mr. Patterson, Mentorship Instructor

“Me, personally, I feel like it’s okay to say All Lives Matter but with the recent things going on in our society lately, it seems like all the minorities are being targeted. So I felt like it’s okay to protest because everybody’s voices matter.” -Olivia Taylor, 12

“I feel like it was very important to my culture because it brings us together as a culture. It was quite peaceful.” -Hagen Halik, 11

“Well I think it was a good idea and that people were allowed to protest because of their freedom of speech.” -Pablo Bassett, 12

“I think students wanted to have their voice heard.”-Ms. Ferris, Spanish teacher

 

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