Alderwood Middle School students stage protest against racism

About 120 students at Alderwood Middle School staged a protest against racism on Thursday.
Students at Alderwood Middle School march around the school during a protest against racism on Thursday.

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

  1. My daughter attended AMS today and said some of the “protesters against racism” were calling other students the “N” word and “white trash.” Unbelievable!

  2. Several comments were left at the bottom of this article but none of the commenters used their full first and last names, so we are unable to approve them. — Teresa Wippel, publisher

  3. I’m glad these students organized and have had their message heard. They are right, now is a good time to enact the change. Coming together to speak and listen is very important, I’m glad they had the courage to campaign.

    1. They did organize it but it went so far beyond equality it they called people who didn’t participate swear words they threw rocks some teachers even cried i go to alderwood my teacher talked about it

  4. I go to AMS and I can tell you this whole “walkout” is a joke. No one could answer my question “which teachers being racist?”. These kids are looking for attention, it seems like. The ” protesters” went upon asking for “equality” in a very inappropriate manor. From the time I got off my bus, the protesters were waiting at the bus’s exit, screaming “ams equality”.
    After the bell rang for first period, they went through the halls screaming ” ams equality”, which obviously, is very distracting. Apparently if you weren’t protesting you are considered “racist”. I’m pretty sure most people joined just to get out of school. I heard one protester call somebody a
    ” cr*cker”. Most the protesters were delinquents (trouble makers) at lunch, they were very annoying as well, changing their “ams equality” bs.

  5. Many of the kids where being racist to other kids even thought they where protesting against ransom.Also they where disrupting the class by yelling down the hall way and also by banging on the table.table. Also many of the kids where main trouble and a large percent of them where harassment other kids into join there cause.There is also many kids who where not in the protest who are annoyed wit the fact that you are making this protest look like a good thing which was not it was horrible and point less.Also maybe you should try talking to other people who where not in the protest so that you can get actual facts.

  6. I am proud that the children did this. I have heard of problems with students and teachers making racist statements and the staff has not taken action so the kids did!

  7. I’m sorry, but this article didn’t portray the protest properly. Members of the protest hit lockers, yelled in the halls, slammed things and a fight happened in the cafeteria. The police even came over! I would also like to mention that some of the kids called others racial slurs, so they’re not exactly innocent. I doubt that you’ll trust me on this, being as I no longer go to Alderwood and I’m currently going to another middle school, but I went to Alderwood. I can’t say that racism is a problem there, but I can definitely say that Alderwood has problems. Teachers would bully students, students sold drugs at school, teachers wouldn’t teach and expected kids to teach themselves, and sometimes students sexually harassed other classmates. The biggest problem Alderwood has is that the staff doesn’t try that hard to deal with issues. I know these kids were trying to do something good, but portraying them as saints isn’t accurate.

  8. It was rather traumatizing to some of the kids who were taking the SBA at the time. They were walking in the halls and shouting, which annoyed a lot of people. It also disrupted the class. I had a bunch of people in my first period class standing on the tables, trying to look out the window to see the protesters! At the end of the day, one of the teachers even ended up calling the cops. Also, the protest doesn’t seem to have changed anything. We still have racism here, and bullying, unfortunately.

  9. actually this protest was organized i wasn’t really BSU that was disrupting it was the kids that joined for example when we were trying to get eveyones attention at lunch kids were disrupting and tryed taking the micro phone at of other kids hands

  10. And this is why my daughter, and any future kids I have, will go to private schools. There is simply no discipline at public schools and no accountability. The inmates, as it were, run the asylum.

    Only private schools still realize that, in order to learn, the proper environment needs to be maintained and that means no outbursts of any kind from any students can be tolerated (and that includes racial harassment).

    Good luck to those parents and students who are in the public school system. You will need it.

  11. I was in 8th grade when this happened and I went Alderwood Middle School and all the bad thing they’re saying happened in this walk out is true. But I did not participate in the walk out.

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