by Aaron Morrison, Mic: “Middle and high school students across the country plan to walk out of classes Wednesday as part of a national call for gun control measures that might prevent mass shootings, like the one that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14.
For the National School Walkout, many of these students are skipping classes under threat of punishment from principals and superintendents. However, college-bound high schoolers are being supported by more than 200 colleges and universities, including several Ivy League and top-rated institutions, which have pledged not to hold suspensions against applicants who peacefully participate.
Objectively, it’s hard to find fault with this response. The Supreme Court affirmed students’ right to free speech without fear of undue reprimand in 1969. But there’s one thing that some activists are struggling to overlook in colleges’ reactions to the #NeverAgain movement, which was sparked by predominantly white and affluent high school students in Parkland. Almost none of these institutions were so publicly supportive of the predominantly black and brown high school students who walked out of classes to protest police brutality — and to declare that “Black lives matter” — just a few years prior.
“What we’re seeing right now, and rightfully so, is that these young people in Florida are being affirmed by the actions that they’re taking,” Charlene Carruthers, national director of Black Youth Project 100, a black youth organizing collective, said in an interview. “But the message that young [black and brown] people are receiving, right now, is that not only do their lives not matter, but their voices don’t matter, and their education doesn’t matter, as well.”Keep Reading