Students Organize Walkout in Protest of Officer Pinning Student on the Ground

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M-A students are organizing a walkout for 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 11th in response to a recent incident in which a fellow student was pinned on the ground and arrested.

The M-A Protest Organization (MAPO) is a club that says it focuses on “making M-A a safe and trusting community.” It announced on Instagram its intentions to host a school-wide walkout criticizing the handling of the incident by the administration and the Atherton Police Department.

The students plan to walk out during fourth period and gather at the PAC Cafe before marching to a nearby park.

The organization estimates upwards of 50-100 students participating in the walkout. The M-A Chronicle interviewed a member of the organization via Instagram. They said, “This walkout is something that our advocacy organization created on our own, but we are receiving a lot of support from the BSU and other clubs.” 

This comes just five days after the Black Student Union (BSU)’s protest, in which over 100 community members, students, and teachers participated.

One MAPO member said, “I’m hoping to get student voices being heard and changes being made in order to stop acts of racism and discrimination in our school and district.”

They continued, “At first, we were worried about student safety while participating in the walkout. However, after other students encouraged us to organize this, we realized that it was a great tool.”

The MAPO is also hosting a district-wide walkout at noon on Friday, May 12th, in order to advocate for change at the district level.

According to the account, M-A administration gave support to the club after the club reached out to them, a representative saying, “I spoke to admin recently about it and they support us and our walkout.”

In an email sent out Wednesday night, Principal Karl Losekoot addressed the walkout, “[a walkout] is one way for students to express their voices and for us to listen. If students stay on campus, we will work to facilitate a space for them to gather and speak. ”

According to California Education Code section 48907, “Pupils of the public schools, including charter schools, shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to, the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions, the wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia”.

He continued “I do, however, want to let students know that if they walk out of class, they will be marked absent from school for that period and any period where they are not present in class. If students walk off campus, school staff will not escort them or walk off campus with them.”

Regarding staff liability, the Ed Code states in section 44808, “No school district, city or county board of education, county superintendent of schools, or any officer or employee of such district or board shall be responsible or in any way liable for the conduct or safety of any pupil of the public schools at any time when such pupil is not on school property.”

The account also said, “We emailed and spoke with a bunch of teachers and staff as well so that they can be prepared for the walkouts.”

Since the walkout takes place during 4th period, it also overlaps with three AP Exams that some M-A students will be taking: AP World History, AP French Language and Culture, and AP Physics 1.

The MAPO addressed this, saying that they do not want students to walk out of their AP exams or while they are testing, suggesting that those students instead participate in the district-wide walkout the next day.

Ameya is a junior in his second year of journalism. He enjoys writing stories about education, sports, and local news and politics. In his free time he enjoys spending time with friends and watching movies.

1 Comment

  1. Seems administration should have asked them to have their voices heard but to also respect students who are taking AP’s.

    Gather at the Green and have speakers, dialogue… that’s what it’s there for. I am sure the Student Activities Staff would be more than happy to put that together, or support it.

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