Teens Stage Walkout Over Alleged Whitewashing Of BHM Program
Students at an Alabama high school are taking a stand against administrators allegedly trying to whitewash their institution’s Black History Month program.
An Administrator Allegedly ‘Felt Uncomfortable’ About Slavery & Civil Rights Being Included
ABC 33/40 reports that the situation unfolded earlier this week at Hillcrest High School over in Tuscaloosa, as over 200 students participated in a walkout. Notably, the protest went down in response to school administrators allegedly asking the students to cut major events from their Black History Month program.
STUDENTS PROTEST AT HILLCREST HIGH SCHOOL: More than 200 students in Tuscaloosa County participated in a walk out protest at Hillcrest High school after a controversy about Black History Month. pic.twitter.com/fI5GElJFX8
— Tim reid (@TimReidReporter) February 8, 2023
J’Niyah Suttles, a high school senior, specifically noted, “We were told we couldn’t talk about slavery and civil rights because one of our administrators felt uncomfortable.”
Students React To BHM Program Censorship: ‘Why Can’t I Talk About It?’
In response, J’Niyah shared that she found the matter “very disturbing.”
“My protector from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., for you to tell me I can’t talk about something that is dealing with my culture is very disturbing, it’s very confusing.”
Jada Holt, another student at Hillcrest High School, reacted to the news by noting that history “can’t be erased.”
“Why am I being censored about my culture something that is rooted in me? Why can’t I talk about it? History is history and it’s already been made, and it can’t be erased.”
Ultimately, Jamiyah Brown—a senior who choreographed the Black History Month program—organized the walkout. Powerfully, she explained her motivation by proclaiming, “Without our history, we are nothing.”
“Without our history, we are nothing. Without teaching our youth where we come from, how can we move forward?”
There are so many things about this country that disgust me. Most of those things are somehow connected to the GOP. https://t.co/nzEShUhtdd
— Jimmy Malone,liberal @malonespeaking everywhere (@malonespeaking) February 10, 2023
The Superintendent Pledges To ‘Ensure All Students Know That They Are Valued’
Lisa Young, the president of the NAACP’s Tuscaloosa Branch, was also vocal in her opposition to the matter. In fact, she straight-up said, “I don’t know how you can talk about Black history in this country without talking about slavery or the civil rights movement.”
She also noted that she is “angry” over the situation and wants to “make their school a safe place.”
“I’m angry and part of me feels like we failed our students. We want to see what we can do to assist them, and make their school a safe place.”
Dr. Keri Johnson, the superintendent of the Tuscaloosa County School System, also reportedly issued a statement on the matter. Notably, she said that they’re “putting together a plan to make sure [the] students feel heard.”
“The Tuscaloosa County School System supports our students’ right to peacefully demonstrate. A number of our Hillcrest High students have concerns about the culture within their school. We care deeply about our students, and it is important that their concerns are heard. We are putting together a plan to make sure our students feel heard, so that we know the right steps to put in place to ensure all students know that they are valued.”
What do you think about the overall situation over at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama?