An entire student body collectively decided to stand up against injustice after their school’s administration allegedly did not handle the issue of racism appropriately.
Posted by activist and teacher @zellie, a Twitter thread revealed the story of students who staged an overnight sit-in at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in The Bronx, locking out one of their administrators in protest.
The students are now referring to themselves as Students of Color Matter.
The students had originally staged the protest after a racist and homophobic video was shared around the school campus and administrators did nothing to fight it.
Students claimed the bigger issue on campus was the lack of racial justice despite the school being called “progressive.”
“One of the African-American students was called the N-word by the kids in the video. They said his name and I know that affected him heavily.” one student shared with ABC.
Students did the sit-in overnight for not just one, but for two nights according to a Twitter thread from @zellie.
Students also shared how the administration had not responded to any of the student’s demands, which included consequences (either suspension or expulsion) for the students involved in the video, a formal apology, or any changes to their policy in regards to racism on campus.
The school’s administration promptly emailed parents of the students — informing them about the protest as well as acknowledging that they had viewed the list of demands.
According to The Cut, a part of the email says:
“The group has shared a list of demands prompted by recent events in the Upper School, but rooted in systemic and cultural concerns that have persisted over the course of their educational experience at ECFS, from Lower School through Upper School.”
Since the students have staged the protest, the student body has created a website that showcases their demands along with what their organization stands for.
Along with their mission statement, the organization also lists their full demands as well as a “live-stream” section and contact option.
“#StudentsofColorMatter is a collective of People of Color from Fieldston dedicated to improving the experiences of marginalized students everywhere. The use of racist and bigoted language are symptoms of systemic and institutional racism that plague educational institutions across the country. For this reason, we command the implementation of structural reform, such as long term curriculum changes, the admittance of more students and faculty of color, and racial sensitivity training for all community members.”
Soon after the story went viral — over three thousand individuals signed the group’s petition.
After the students spent another night in the school — the administration responded to the first four demands, eventually meeting with a mediator to help facilitate conversation.
The lock out officially ended when all the demands were met, with @zellie sharing:
“After nearly 72 hours, extensive back and forth with the administration and the overwhelming support of all of you…THE LOCK OUT IS OVER! Fieldston has accepted all 20 demands and have organized a formal plan agreed upon by all parties to implement each demand ASAP.”
That’s how you do it, folks! Maybe the Trump administration should take a page out of Fieldston’s book..
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