« 'It's All We Can Talk About': High Schoolers React to Protests Over Police Violence | Main | Teens Are Growing Depressed and Disconnected From School, Student Survey Finds »

'The World Is Watching Us': High School Students Reflect on Police Brutality Protests

| No comments

Video and text by Kaylee Domzalski and Brooke Saias

Following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, high school students nationwide have organized and participated in protests against police brutality and racism.

For some students, their participation is a continuation of activism work they started in 2018 after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., or in 2019 during the worldwide protests for climate action. For others, it's not only their first time speaking out, but it's their first time organizing.

Education Week Video spoke with 16 high school students from across the country who are engaging with their communities.

"I know what motivated me was not seeing a lot of protests happening in Baton Rouge prior to all of the deaths that have been happening in the country," said Noah Hawkins, a 16-year-old student at Baton Rouge Magnet High School in Louisiana.

Other students emphasized the importance of making sure that this movement goes beyond a moment.

"We can't just look at the death of George Floyd, the death of Breonna Taylor, and the death of Amaud Arbury and think that that happened on that date and therefore we move on," said Sofia Hidalgo, who graduated this spring from Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, Md. "The movement is against police brutality, it's against systematic oppression, it's against institutionalized racism and that doesn't disappear when the protests end."

For students like Jenaan Ahmed, a newly-graduated senior from Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis, there's also hope in the nationwide scale of the demonstrations.

"I'm feeling a sense of global connectedness through all of this because every day, every hour, there's a new city or a new town somewhere in the U.S. that's protesting," Ahmed said. "So it feels good to know that our struggle right now is not isolated and we are not alone."

Related Reading

'It's All We Can Talk About': High Schoolers React to Protests Over Police Violence

A Black Teacher's Letter to His Younger Self: 'I Now Face Two Battles'

Teachers Are as Racially Biased as Everybody Else, Study Shows

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments