About 50 students at a Washington high school walked out of classes Friday afternoon and rallied in front of the school upset over allegations of racism within the school.
As the Tri-City Herald reports, the walkout and rally at Kamiakin (Wash.) High School stem from when students started chanting “Build the Wall” during last weekend’s football game. Some also took their concerns to this week’s school board meeting.
Per the Herald, the theme for the student body spirit section on Friday, Oct. 5 was the “United States of America” and students showed up wearing red, white and blue.
One student brought a “Make America Great Again” flag.
Kamiakin senior Cielo Castor, who was at the game taking photos for the yearbook, told the Herald the student had a right to bring the flag. It was when students started chanting “Build the Wall” that Castor told students they should stop.
Per what Castor told the Herald, the student with the flag encouraged the cheerleaders to join in. While the cheerleaders didn’t join in, the chanting did not stop then, per Castor. The flag was eventually folded up.
The episode escalated when a picture of the flag was later posted to an Instagram account.
Per the Herald, Castor attended a Kennewick School District Board meeting Wednesday night, telling the board that it was not OK for students to chant “Build the Wall” and for school leaders to apparently take no action to stop it. Just over 27 percent of the high school’s students are Hispanic, per the Herald. And the walkout came next, as well as some students posting their ire to social media.
The Kennewick School District sent the Herald a statement Friday that said the “district is committed to creating a learning environment where every student feels safe and welcome. We want our students to know that we are here to support them and available to discuss any concerns they have.”
You can read the rest of the Tri-City Herald story on the incident and walkout here.