Bowen High School Students Stand Up to Hate

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

By: Ashmar Mandou

“We as young people are not going to stand for the hateful comments and remarks that have been directed at us. Walking out of school is one way for us as students to express our concerns and make sure our voices are being heard,” said Jalysa Mercado, a sophomore student at Bowen High School and one of the many students who participated in Tuesday’s walkout in response to the elections results. Students demonstrated their opposition to the rise of racism across the country post elections. Bowen students joined the massive demonstrations opposing the election results, which has been occurring in downtown.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

“After the elections, many feelings set in anger, frustration, hurt, disappointment, but after a few days those feelings quickly turned into the need to take actions and make sure that we are united and we are standing against hate that has been directed towards immigrants, African-Americans, Muslims, people with disabilities, and many other groups,” said Centro de Trabajadores Unidos Mary Claire Schmit. Hector Gonzalez, a counselor at Bowen High School, asks “how do you explain to your students that a person who has made the focus of his campaign targeting their communities will be our next president? Now more than ever it’s important that we be intentional about creating spaces for our students to come together to process their thoughts and feelings and take collective healing action.” After the walkout, students marched towards Bessemer Park where a rally was held to voice their concerns. Centro de Trabajadores Unidos—Immigrant Workers Project (CTU-IWP) is the first immigrant—run worker center in southeast Chicago that advocates for immigrant and workers’ rights in southeast Chicago and Chicago south suburbs.

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