By A.J. Harris
NORMAL – On a sweltering afternoon, former and current students, supported by the Bloomington NAACP and the Unit 5 Board of Education, lead a rally at Normal West Community High School protesting recent racist social media posts from other students.
Organized by the NCWHS Black Student Union, young people spoke out about the racist attacks, which included repeated slurs and a video of a student in blackface.
While some speakers commended the Unit 5 staff for their swift confrontation of these racist posts, former student Morgan Taylor says it isn’t enough.
“Being not racist is not enough,” says Taylor, adding that teachers need to listen to students who said they have been confronted with racism, sexism, or homophobia in school.
After the speeches, students led the crowd of over 300 on a march down the road to Parkside Junior High, where everyone took a knee and observed a moment of silence for six minutes.
The Unit Five Board released a statement saying they were proud of the Black Student Union for exercising their voices and actively working to improve their schools.
“These students are demonstrating the leadership and the bravery necessary to promote change and challenge our institutions,” the statement said.
“We want our Black students to know that their lives matter,” says President of the Board Amy Roser.
“We will continue to work to build a community that supports their success,” Roser adds.
A.J. Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org