Columbia High School Students Stage Walkout Over Ferguson Decision

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Columbia High School students protest Ferguson MO grand jury decision. November 25, 2014.

Columbia High School students protest Ferguson MO grand jury decision. November 25, 2014.

Update, 11/25, 12:23 p.m. and 10:59 p.m.: This article has been updated with more details from today’s walkout.

Columbia High School students staged a peaceful walkout today starting at 9:08 a.m. in protest of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, MO not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Students briefly protested outside CHS but quickly moved the protest inside.

Roughly 100 students participated. Chants like “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “What do we want? Human rights! When do we want them? Now!” rang through the halls.

Senior Mia Goldstein organized the walkout with fellow student Sofia Petros.

“The Brown family or the people of Ferguson will never hear of this protest,” Goldstein told HistoryNusantara in an email. “Agitating for social change in a New Jersey high school has no impact on race relations in Missouri, but what it does is start a dialogue within our community about issues of race and social justice. And in the face of an ACLU lawsuit, my heart was filled with pride seeing CHS students walk alongside each other in solidarity with Ferguson, respect for Michael Brown, and a desire to change the system.”  

CHS Principal Elizabeth Aaron spoke over the loudspeaker, telling students she respected that they were speaking for others who they believe don’t have a voice, but that it was her job to ask them to return to class. The students complied. Read Principal Aaron’s full comments here.

“I’m so grateful to have Principal Aaron’s support,” wrote Goldstein. “Her unwavering respect for student voices, opinions, and rights continues to astound me. Mrs. Aaron says that she’s proud of us; I say that I’m proud to attend her school.”

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