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Hilhi students stage walkout in solidarity with Forest Grove High students

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - Several students at Hilhi walked out of class this morning to show solidarity with Forest Grove High School students, who did the same.Several hundred Hillsboro High School students walked out of class Thursday morning at 9:45 a.m. to stand in solidarity with Forest Grove High School students, who staged a walk out at the same time.

The walkout was sparked by an inflammatory banner that appeared briefly inside Forest Grove High School Wednesday, May 18, proclaiming “Build A Wall,” referring to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s vow to build a wall along the Texas-Mexico border.HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: KATHY FULLER - Several students at Hilhi walked out of class this morning to show solidarity with Forest Grove High School students, who did the same.

Although the slogan technically refers to keeping out undocumented immigrants, it has become shorthand for a general prejudice against and suspicion of all Latinos, partly because it’s unclear which Latinos have come here illegally and partly because Latinos at FGHS say they are often still referred to as “Mexicans” at the school, even if they’re American citizens.

The “Build a Wall” sign followed a number of other race-related incidents at FGHS which have been happening for years, some students say, but only began coming to light recently following an incident when a student yelled a racial slur in a black teacher's classroom.

Twitter was full of posts Wednesday night and into this morning under the hashtag #StandupFG.

At Hilhi, about 300 students marched outside the school and around the parking lot for approximately one hour, holding signs that said “Build Love Not Walls” and “No Human is Illegal.”

The predominantly Latino student crowd was peaceful and took three laps around the parking lot, holding signs, flags and balloons.

Hillsboro School District administrators said they encouraged students to stay in class and find another way of expressing their concerns.

Superintendent Mike Scott was at the Hilhi protest and indicated the teachers and administrators on hand supervising the walkout were "facilitating student safety." There were no police present.

Scott did not say the school or district administration gave permission for the walkout.

Students at Glencoe and Liberty high schools in Hillsboro also staged walkouts at about the same time. It’s unconfirmed whether Century students did the same. Beaverton High School students also walked out of class later in the morning.




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