Fed-up students at a Boston high school high-tailed it out of class on Friday morning to protest the mismanagement of a series of racist incidents. Hundreds of students marched outside of Quincy High School with signs in hand, demanding better recourse from officials.
NBC10 Boston reported that Quincy students staged the walkout after a video with racist content led to a fight between a couple of students on Tuesday. School officials sent a letter to parents acknowledging the brawl between two freshmen, one Black and the one white. According to 7 News Boston, the Black student approached the white classmate about a video he allegedly made, which led to a scuffle that other students witnessed. It happened less than a week after another video and audio files had circulated that contained hate speech targeted towards students and teachers.
Quincy Public Schools Superintendent Kevin Mulvey said in a statement that the “altercation is the result of students’ ability to communicate impulsively and without the maturity to understand the consequences of their actions.”
According to NBC10 Boston, Mulvey and Quincy Principal Lawrence Taglieri decided to utilize a behavioral program to help students cope with the fight and its aftermath.
In a shared public statement, they wrote, “While identifying the issues of racism and hate speech are easily done, the more difficult work is to address the root causes of these conflicts and support the students and staff affected. There are clearly issues with culture and climate that require collaboration with outside resources and strategic planning in order to move forward with reinforcing our schools as safe and supportive environments.”
However, Quincy students want more action to be taken. One student told The Patriot Ledger in an email that students want “accountability and diversity, equity and inclusion.”
At the protest on Friday, students rallied outside of the school and chanted, “We want change!” They held signs saying “Black lives matter” and “Racism is a pandemic too.”
Students and parents have taken matters into their own hands after a string of racist acts in schools have blown up on a national stage. In Michigan on Friday, parents planned a protest at Bloomfield Hills High School for students and staff after a series of racist incidents, Local 4 Detroit reported. Students gathered on school grounds, while parents and reporters monitored from the sideline.
On Monday, the school alerted families about a racist social media post by a student.
“This behavior is deplorable, and we denounce it. When incidents of hate occur, our entire community is harmed. Hate has no place in our school,” principal Charlie Hollerith said in a letter. “Disciplinary actions will be guided by our Student Code of Conduct and as a part of our actions, Restorative Practices will be utilized..”
Then, another incident occurred on Wednesday when racist hate speech was found inside a bathroom at the same school, according to Fox 2 Detroit. Along with racist images, the N-word was scribbled on the wall. In a memo to families, Hollerith and school district superintendent Patrick Watson vowed that an investigation would be launched with the help of school security and the Bloomfield police. School officials said that they would offer counseling and boost training for staff members.
Students said they wanted better leadership after written threats toward Black students were found on school property.
“We recognize the pain that people across our entire community are experiencing, and this letter is just the start to a process of healing,” officials said. “Our partnership as a school community to support one another is critical.”