The Truth is Powerful

A Year of Activism: Students Reflect on Their Fight for Racial Justice at School

Following George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police in May 2020, high school students across the country organized and participated in a summer of protests against racism and police brutality.

In some places, their goals, like severing ties between police and school districts, were successful . Other calls to combat racism in schools and implement anti-racist curriculum have been met with significant pushback.

Amid their activism to bring change to their schools, they were also on student council organizing special events, writing college applications, and maintaining grades in challenging IB programs. A year later, Education Week asked three student activists to reflect on the work they did and how things have changed, as they look to the future. After speaking up about racism, a disappointing outcome

For Traci Francis, a senior at South Portland High School in Maine, it all led to burnout.

“I’m proud of the work that I did at South Portland,” Francis said. “But sometimes I just don’t know if it was worth all of the energy that it drained me of.”

As a junior, Francis filed a complaint with the school district after her sociology teacher used a racial slur in the classroom. She was disappointed with the […]

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