Students protest peacefully during all lunches

Handmade signs were held during the protest at all three lunch periods.

Nadia Maddex, Yearbook Clubs Editor

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Students used their lunch sessions on Sept. 19 as an awareness outlet. They decided to hold a peaceful protest, holding signs with different slogans that represented what they feel is wrong with the community and with statements that they felt needed to be brought to light.

After Officer Jason Stockley was ruled not guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the 2011 shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith on Friday, protests were held in the Central West End, the Delmar Loop and West County Mall. Demonstrations were also made through social media by Pattonville students.

“I have never seen so much racism in my life,” junior Courtney Woods said. “This weekend showed me sides of people I have never seen and I think unity is not just something that needs to be spoken but witnessed. Us standing together today showed people the prevalence of the problem and that was our point.”

These students stood silently and in places that did not disrupt the school environment.

“Our point is to inform, not to intimidate,” senior Orlando Williams said.

There were some people who stood and watched in confusion, students who looked with anger and people who were completely unbothered by the protest. People watched their friends sit, and watched as they stood up for equality amongst all students. The point was to be peaceful.

Pattonville is different from the rest of society, and according to freshman Esha Chopra, she wanted to get across the point that when you are here, you are to be treated equally by all and with respect.

“I thought it was really important for people to see how many people stand for this problem,” Chopra said. “You could see it in people’s faces how important it was to them. I didn’t start standing, but when I saw people I knew standing for something so important, I felt it was wrong for me not to join.”

Students had many different reasons for protesting, and senior Lexi Taylor said her reason was to educate people.

“I feel like there is a lot of ignorance and not just necessarily on racism,” she said. “I feel it is important to show people how important this problem is and to educate them on what is going on around them.”

Teachers and administrators like counselor Ms. Anetra Johnson stood alongside the students to make sure that the protest remained peaceful and to support students in expressing their opinions on a matter that impacts so many students directly.

“I really liked the unity,” Johnson said. “They came about expressing themselves very well. We are here to support the students.”

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Students protest peacefully during all lunches