Hopkins High School Students Walk-Out: More than 150 students walked out of Hopkins High School last Friday protesting the unequal treatment of black teens. Some of the black teens said they have been punished more severely than white teens. MPR News reports that the teens said they brought their concerns to the attention of school administrators to no avail.
The walkout comes after an incident earlier this month when two African-American teens were charged with misdemeanors. According to a police report, one student put a hand on a school police officer while attempting to re-claim posters in an administrator’s office. The posters protested what some students called “Ghetto Day” staged by other students in February.
Administrators took down the posters. Hopkins High School principal Patty Johnson said the students did not follow proper protocol. University of St. Thomas associate law professor Nekima Levy-Pounds represents the two students charged and was at the walkout.
“The fact that there was such a large contingent of students who felt the same way gave them the courage to raise their voices and express their perspectives about the unjust treatment that they have allegedly had to endure,” Levy-Pounds said.
In a statement, Jolene Goldade, public relations and communications coordinator for Hopkins Public Schools said officials responded fairly and appropriately. The statement said the school takes the matter seriously and intervenes when a student brings an issue to an administrator.
“Our high school has a richly diverse student body, and we are committed to teaching all students. We recognize our student’s right to protest, but also invite them to come back into the building to share any grievances they may have with the high school administration,” the statement read. The statement also said that Hopkins principal Johnson will host a listening session for any student who wishes to be heard. Source
The 150 students who walked out have taken a stand and they should be applauded. There is strength in numbers and we will continue to urge our readers that you have to speak up when you feel you have been wronged. Imagine if the foot soldiers in the civil rights movement decided not to speak up?