The Black Student Solidarity Network, a statewide organization led by Black students, is organizing an extraordinary protest in Shawnee Mission, KS. This protest is in direct response to a hate crime that occurred at Shawnee Mission East High School. The organization, established in 2022 due to an alarming increase in racial violence within Missouri and Kansas schools, is rallying the community to unite against white supremacist violence and advocate for justice for all Black students.
The Rallying Cry for Action:
The protest will be held on Thursday, November 30 at 5:30 PM, located at 8200 W 71st St. Organizers are urging all community members to come together in solidarity. They want to emphasize that the community will not tolerate the presence of white supremacists and hate crimes, and will not be silenced or terrorized.
Key Demands of the Protest:
- Formal Apology and Admission of Wrongdoing: The first demand is for a formal public apology from Shawnee Mission East High School, acknowledging their error in suspending Brey, who was a victim of a hate crime. This action highlights the broader issue of failure to protect Black students in the face of racial violence.
- Immediate Expulsion of the Racist Attacker: The protesters demand the immediate and permanent expulsion of the student responsible for the attack. This demand underscores the zero-tolerance approach towards racially motivated violence in educational institutions.
- Revision of Zero-Tolerance Policy: The network urges a revision of the zero-tolerance policy, advocating for the rights of Black students to defend themselves against racial hate speech without facing unfair punishment.
- Mandatory Cultural Competency for Administrators: There’s a call for mandatory cultural competency exams for all administrators. Failure to pass these exams should result in dismissal, ensuring that those in power are equipped to create and maintain a safe, inclusive environment.
- Implementation of SURJ-KC’s 2020 Recommendations: The protesters are pushing for the immediate implementation of all 12 recommendations from SURJ-KC, which were proposed in 2020 to address systemic racism and promote racial justice in schools.
- Transparent Accountability Measures: The final demand is the establishment of clear, transparent measures to hold students and staff accountable for racist behavior, including public reporting of incidents and subsequent actions.
A Turning Point for Black Youth Organizing & Racial Justice:
This mass protest represents more than just a response to a single incident; it signifies a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for racial justice within schools throughout Missouri and Kansas. Through this protest, the Black Student Solidarity Network seeks not only to attain justice for Brey but also to ignite a broader movement towards establishing a secure and fair educational environment for all Black students.