More than 300 students from Forest Grove High School staged a walkout this week after a student hung a “Build A Wall” banner on campus.
“It’s just intolerable,” Superintendent Yvonne Curtis. “I think it makes people feel unsafe which is why we dealt with it immediately.”
However, the Oregon students felt the school district has not done enough to address racism at the school, which is more than half Latino. Earlier this year, another Forest Grove student called a Black teacher the “n-word.”
First, they gathered in front of the school playing music and holding signs – one that read, “Brown is Beautiful”. Then, the demonstrators marched to the school district headquarters.
Other nearby schools also walked out to show their support.
Student body president Hugo Salmeron said this Donald Trump inspired sign was the last straw for many.
“The incident that happened yesterday – we believe enough is enough,” said Salmeron. “A lot of people would say it’s a First Amendment right, it’s freedom of speech, but there’s a big difference between spreading awareness and just being hateful.”
Students confronted district leaders, asking them how they plan to combat racism on campus in the future. Superintendent Curtis assured them they’ve been working on equality programs for years, but they need more student involvement to make a bigger impact.
Speaking to the students with a bull horn, Curtis said, “I know that your administrators and your teachers want you to do this with them.”
The student who hung the banner in Forest Grove High School has issued an apology letter to the school and the students.
This is just the latest incident of Trump-inspired hate at high schools and college campuses across the nation.
At high schools in Indiana and Iowa, white students mocked Latinx and Black athletes with chants of “Build a wall!” and “Trump! Trump! Trump!” during soccer and basketball games. At the University of Kansas, pro-Trump students scrawled “Stop Islam” and “Trump 2016” on campus sidewalks.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive look at Trump-related acts of hate on this map.
Click below to watch footage of the student walkout at Forest Grove High School.