Students pen letter to the administration

Letter submitted to Spectrum

Students sit in the JNA watching the inaugural address while others decided to walk out, exercising their right to not watch it while accepting the consequences.

Penelope Winton

Students sit in the JNA watching the inaugural address while others decided to walk out, exercising their right to not watch it while accepting the consequences.

Submitted by Hazel DeHarpporte

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Dear Blake Administration,

During the highly-debated inaugural assembly, a group of Blake students from all grades are choosing to walk out. So as not to cause a disruption, we will leave quickly and quietly. We believe this is an effective form of protest because we would like to display our marginalization in Trump’s America. We are not represented in his administration, and we refuse to be complicit in his politics of exclusion.

We have several reasons for walking out of assembly. Trump and his administration have targeted LGBTQ+ people, people of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, war veterans and Muslims with inflammatory, hateful, and derogatory language and harmful proposed policies. Thus, the rate of hate crimes in the US has increased by seven percent since last year. In the wake of Trump’s election in schools across the country, there have been reports of white students writing “deportation letters” for Latino students and telling others to “go back to Africa.” Right here in Minnesota, school bathroom stalls have been defaced with graffiti reading, “#Whites only, #White America, #Trump.” We are walking out to show that those of us who are affected by this bigotry and those of us who stand together as allies refuse to tolerate these effects of Trump’s reprehensible actions.

We understand and appreciate Blake’s aim of using the inaugural speech as an educational opportunity. Rather than “rejecting” or disrespecting those who choose to stay as well as the administration, the Blake students walking out from assembly are demonstrating their political agency. This is not a statement about Blake, but about the role of youth political expression within the national community.

We would like to thank Blake for the constant and respectful communication between students and administration who come to the situation with a variety of views. We hope that our actions will provoke dialogue in a healthy and similarly respectful manner as well as accurately express our concerns surrounding the next four years.

We accept full consequences for our actions and still stand by them.
Thank you.

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