Student Walk Out In Unity

By Camille Slaughter, Student Reporter  

 

To show support for victims of racial inequality and to regain unity within the school, students staged a walkout in the courtyard on October 27th from 9:45 to 10:15.

 

The walkout was organized by student council after a student posted a photo on Twitter containing a racial slur and another student received a racist note on her doorstep.

 

At 9:45 hundreds of students stood up and walked out of their classrooms. The courtyard quickly became crowded and filled with students holding up posters. Some of the posters read: “We are all the same,” “We will not have freedom until we have equality,” and “Black Lives Matter.”

 

Senior, Patience Humble, who was one of the main speakers and organizers of the event, said, “We have an issue in our community, an issue of racism.” Then Humble shared a story of a student who has been “followed by workers pretending to restock shelves” while walking through stores in Oregon City “to make sure [they weren’t] stealing.”

 

After sharing a few more stories of student experiences with racism Humble said, “When you walk into this school you have the right to feel safe. We have the responsibility to protect our fellow students. To come together as a student body and not to be subject to racism. This is not who we are and it is not something we will allow.” With the conclusion of her speech students applauded and cheered. Humble concluded, “Today we have become united.”

 

Many students found the walkout important like sophomore, Kaidlyn McDonald who said, “This wasn’t all for show. This happened fast and we had a great response. We wanted to show that this is not what OC is about. We were quick to shut it down.” For sophomore, Ayumi Stewart the “most impactful moment was the speech by Patience because what she was saying about how our school tolerates racism, it’s what I was thinking.”

 

Nick Bertram, the Equity Club advisor who has been involved in the equality of all students since he became a teacher, said, “What was special [about the walkout] was how many people said ‘I don’t want to go to go to a school that is unsafe.’ I think it is important for students to defend other students.”

 

The walkout ended with a five minute long moment of silence to commemorate those subject to racial injustice in our community. Students stood together quietly for five minutes, some holding hands and others hugging to comfort their peers.