The walkout was organized by Minnesota Teen Activists on Instagram just days before, with the group’s account having over 17,000 followers after being jumpstarted by a small group of students last year. Students held signs and organized outside of classes, having a moment of silence at 1:47 p.m., the time Wright was killed.
“This walkout is about making a statement to, not only the school districts who do little to nothing about racism but also to greater Minnesota,” Jerome Treadwell, a founder of the group and President of the NAACP Youth Division in St. Paul, told KARE 11.”… “Actions speak louder than words,” Treadwell said. “We’re able to walk out of class, not to defy what the school policy is, but to make a statement in our best way as youth. To ask for and demand justice and peace for everyone.”
Students met at various locations throughout the state, with about 300 flocking to U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, according to the Star Tribune. Student organizers at certain schools, such as Minnetonka High School, even focused their attention on the promises their districts have made regarding addressing concerns of racism and injustice. That district specifically has followed through on addressing some of the concerns of protestors last year, the Tribune reports, but students feel more can be done.
“I’ve seen a really big difference in the attitudes and sentiments that people had last year,” senior Ahlaam Abdulwali said. “It’s just the school administration that isn’t making solid policies and actionable items that will create a change that’s permanent.”
Nyagach Kueth, a student at Washburn High School, said the walkouts were done in an effort to show their schools “that our lives matter more than education right now.”
“How can we possibly focus on school when the whole world’s eyes are watching Minnesota now,” Kueth asked.