About 120 students at Alderwood Middle School staged a walk-out Thursday to protest what they say is racism at their school.
The protest began in the morning when students were arriving at school. Some students did not go to class and instead staged a sit-down protest and then marched around the school, according to Edmonds School District spokesperson Debbie Jakala.
Students have raised a number of concerns including unfair treatment of students in class, racial slurs directed at students in the hallways and non-action by school staff regarding these alleged incidents. Students expressed a desire to have a more diverse staff and also were concerned about what they allege are unfair discipline practices at the school.
“One of the students said all we’re asking is to be treated like a human and to feel cared about and respected,” said Edmonds School District Equity and Outreach Coordinator Karena Hooks.
Hooks and Patrick Murphy, Assistant Superintendent/Secondary Schools, were on campus Thursday. Members of Lynnwood High School’s Black Student Union also were present and were interacting with students.
“I’ve been trying to work hard with the kids to get them heard in a more productive way, so we as a school district can address their concerns,” Hooks said. “The students are urgent about it. They want it now.”
The issue of racism is an important issue, Hooks added.
“We’ve been working as a team to try to really address the concerns,” she said. “This is a national issue. The only difference is that Alderwood Middle decided to walk out. But these are concerns going on in schools around our world.”
– By David Pan