Seattle School District sends guidance to principals on how to navigate Ferguson controversy
SEATTLE — The tension in Ferguson is also affecting a lot of young people in our area. Since Monday’s grand jury decision, students at several Seattle schools walked out of classes in protest.
On Wednesday, Franklin High School kids did the same. More than 100 students walked out during their lunch hour to rally.
Students who spoke with Q13 FOX News said Officer Wilson had a right to defend himself but not to kill Michael Brown.
“It feels as if too many cops are taking advantage of their badge,” sophomore Liban Idras said.
And it's hard to keep the controversial discussions from the classrooms.
“I know some teachers don't want to be a part of that because of political reasons,” senior Keah Thomas said.
Thomas says some administrators are making it a teachable moment.
“We just had a roundtable discussion in her class, we had a lot of those because we are 12th graders, so we just talked about how we felt,” Thomas said
The district is encouraging teachers to stick to the evidence and allow students to question their position.
Before the grand jury's decision, the district sent a message to all of their principals giving some guidance to navigate the sensitive issue.
"We know and understand our students are personalizing and experiencing a broad range of emotions around this event, and as school leaders we want to help them both express their emotions and think ahead to their futures.”
“The teachers, they care, it's their job and they don't want us to be missing classes,” Idras said.
On Tuesday, 300 Roosevelt high students and 1000 from Garfield left in the middle of class to demonstrate. The walkouts were not sanctioned by district and Wednesday's also caught them by surprise.
“If we are peaceful people are actually going to listen,” Idras said.
“Buildings being destroyed -- that's not helping anything that's not helping the community,” Thomas said.
Thomas says the march she organized is not about the past.
“It's happened, it's a sad thing but what can we do stepping forward?” Thomas said.
She says the best way to move on is to better the community.
“Don't complain if you are not building yourself up no one can help you if you can't help yourself,” Thomas said.
The walkouts will count as unexcused absences unless parents send in notes giving permission.