Students walk out of school to sit in at Town Hall for racial equity
April 13, 2016
Students walked together to Town Hall to sit in for racial equity at the high school on April 13th, beginning during F-block. Junior DaHana Smith-Rose organized the walk-out. Thirty students met in front of the Atrium and walked with signs to Town Hall in Brookline Village, where they sang ‘We Shall Overcome’ and then sat in a circle and shared stories about their experiences with race in Brookline. Three parents also spoke. The group had around 55 students at its peak. The group included people from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds, as did the people who chose to speak.
Juniors Sam Pollack, Sarah Dreyfus and Tyra Pierre and seniors Maya Jakubowski, Zahriah Karakashian-Jones and Shams Mohajerani met with Interim Superintendent Joseph Connolly inside the Town Hall building.
“We were talking about ourselves and what we think should be done, and how we have racist teachers and how we don’t feel comfortable reporting things; how we didn’t even know that we could report things; how things are just swept under the rug,” Pierre said. “They’re saying they’re going to change the handbook and how he (Joseph Connelly) and other teachers have an open door policy. Yeah you do, but if we don’t have a connection and can’t be like ‘hey this is happening,’ we are not going to use that because we don’t feel comfortable talking to you. He said that teachers would stop whatever they’re doing to listen, which I don’t really believe.”
The protest was covered by Fox 25 News. Smith-Rose contacted them in advance and told them about her plans for the protest.
“The next step is to have more meetings and talk about how we feel, because unless we do something about it nothing is going to happen, and more action by students will be the only reason we produce anything,” Smith-Rose said.