Teen Voices: Students United Against Racism

This article was written by a student at P-CEP in response to a racist social media post that was investigated by Canton Public Safety. Hundreds of students participated in a walk out to protest the post on April 15, 2022.

"As I watched that horrible video, I was unbelievably shocked. I felt a whirlwind of emotions ranging from anger to complete horror. I felt incredibly fearful as there was a white boy threatening actual violence upon his fellow African American students and repeatedly using the 'n word'. I was angry and didn’t know what to do. As word spread all over campus, I could feel the anger and agitation among students. Watching the Black Excellence Show on Tuesday, I was joyous that the African American students weren’t defining themselves by racism or any other discrimination they might face. However, the anger from watching that video was still not gone and the students needed a way to express this.

When I heard that the Black Student Union was organizing a walkout on Friday, April 15, I immediately knew I had to participate. We needed to show how we felt. Many were also angry that the district hadn’t told anyone what had happened to the boy in question. At 2 PM on Friday, I walked out of my science class with my friends to protest the racist video and the lack of transparency from the district. Standing with my classmates, I chanted, 'Enough is enough' and 'Black Lives Matter'.

I was incredibly happy to see the turnout for the protest. As I saw a wide variety of students protesting, I wondered how other minority students were feeling. There were many protesting the boy in the video, even using profanity, but I also saw they protested against racism in general, against all groups. Some teachers had come and protested along with us. The police and security were closely monitoring the protest, making many African American students agitated.

When the news channels came, we were eager to meet them because we needed to get the message out to the public and to the boy. It isn’t okay, ever, to use that language. Racism is abhorrent and can not be tolerated in any space. To our happiness, this news story was included on the Friday news and we succeeded in getting out our message. While there was a big show of support this Friday, the boy in question and everyone like him can’t be allowed to continue to express these sentiments. We will continue to stand up against injustice and racism whenever we see it."