On the National Day of Student Action (March 1st) a group of students at Prince George’s County’s Northwestern High School planned a walkout to protest what they called, “educational inequality, and advocating for quality and affordable education for all.” Specifically the expected 300 students who planned to walk out wanted to highlight unsanitary conditions in their school, enormous class sizes, cuts to the ESOL program. According to one source, administrators at Northwestern and in the central administration found out about the protest using twitter and Facebook and crushed it. Now the website Black Star Journal has launched an online movement demanding the system remove all suspensions and disciplinary acts taken against the student leaders.
Excerpt from the Article—The Administration at Northwestern discovered the walkout plan early in the day by trolling Twitter and put the school on lockdown. Police blocked the doors and canine units waited in the school’s parking lot. They held student leaders in the Principal’s office all day, threatened them with expulsion, and at the end of the day suspended four students for 5 days requiring that when they return their parents must accompany them to classes all day.
Northwestern is a high school where a majority of the students are Black and Latino. The student organizers’ mission was to walk out for a better school and a better education. Instead the Administration violated their civil liberties, squashed these students’ free speech, and punished them for wanting to improve the school environment for themselves and their teachers. Instead of having a dialogue with students, the Administration at this school chose to make an example of several students and punish them harshly knowing this could affect these students ability to get into college.