Words: Madhu Lal
Photo: Izzie Chausse
Students flooded Centennial’s hallways with a sea of black today, February 19, as hundreds of students participated in a school-supported blackout, partially in response to the controversial video released a few weeks ago by several Mt. Hebron students. Many students at Mount Hebron walked out of school on February 2 as a response to the video. The walkout received some media attention and even inspired a community meeting.
Many Centennial students also wanted to have a schoolwide walk out, and over 300 students signed a petition urging Centennial to host the protest. However, the event could not be approved. Instead, the administration worked with S.O.A.R. (Students Organized Against Racism), to organize an event that would give students a way to express their support in a manner in which school policy would allow. The alternate activity to the walkout was a school-supported blackout on Friday, February 19.
Students and administrators made announcements during the week leading up to the blackout, providing support to students who wanted to participate and wear black to express their opinions regarding racism. According to S.O.A.R member Lexie Clay, the color black was chosen because all colors put together create the color black. Clay explained that the color represents the coexistence between different cultural identities.
The event served as a way to reignite the dialogue about racism and acknowledge the fact that racism isn’t restricted to specific areas, but can occur anywhere, including within our community and school.
S.O.A.R plans to take this idea even further by arranging a summit sometime in March or April. The club hopes students, parents, Dr. Foose, and state and county board members will come together to discuss the topic of racism. According to Clay, S.O.A.R. wishes for the summit to be a place where students are able to share their stories and viewpoints about racism and “end the silence.”
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