Students at Brighton High School walk out to support gun control, BLM

Apr 18, 2018

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

When you think of a walkout or a protest, you might think of something loud. Megaphones, speeches and chants.

But the students at Brighton High School decided to use the power of silence to their advantage.

Over 100 students walked out the doors of the high school Wednesday morning, gathered around the flagpole and laid down for a moment underneath it.

A short speech was read, everyone stood up, and the students then returned to the building.

Most of those who participated wore placards with the photos and stories of black men and women. These were from a list that members of the Black Student Union made of 95 people around the country who have been killed due to police violence, or whose murders have not been brought to justice.

Sachi Sharp is a junior and a member of the Black Student Union.

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

"We thought it would be a powerful image to show, because a lot of people don’t think of them as one group. So if you show all these people laying on the ground as though they’re dead, as though they were these people that have been killed. It would show the magnitude of how many people have died."

Alona Miller is a senior and also a member of that group, who said it was time to unite as a school when it came to these issues.

"We just sat down and thought this was an issue that needed to be addressed and we felt that our school would support us no matter what. So we decided as a group that we could invite our students to join in unity and recognize all of the lives that have been lost in police brutality."

Alona Miller, Keionna Manley, Sachi Sharp and Alana Britton. Brighton High School Students and members of the Black Student Union
Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Students also said the walkout was also prompted by the death of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was shot and killed by police in his grandmother's back yard; he died one month ago Wednesday.

Organizers say they were pleased with both the reaction from the students and staff. 

A spokesperson for Brighton schools told WXXI that the district is proud of the students’ engagement and respect their First Amendment rights, and that there would be no disciplinary action for students who participated in the walkout.


Video credit: Veronica Volk / WXXI News