Sherwood High students hold walkout Friday in support of Forest Grove students
More than 100 students marched from Sherwood High to Cannery Square Plaza
More than 100 Sherwood High School students marched to Cannery Square Plaza today as part of a walkout to show solidarity for students at Forest Grove High School, who held a classroom walkout and rally against racism Thursday.
The students made the march to Old Town Sherwood around 1:30 p.m.
Maybe 100 or more students congregated inside (SHS) and then we all met outside to talk and share stories on racism in our school and community, said Tatiana Nguyen, who along with junior Emma Black, organized the event. The Sherwood high school students, alongside some from Forest Grove, walked and chanted into Cannery Square and we all collected again to speak about the cause.
Nguyen estimated that anywhere from 20 to 30 Latino students from Sherwood and Forest Grove participated in the march, which led students down Meinecke Road and into Old Town Sherwood.
Fridays event was inspired by Thursdays march by Forest Grove High School students who were protesting a Build A Wall placard that was placed on top of another banner denouncing a separate racist event at that school. While the Build A Wall slogan technically applies only to illegal immigrants but seems to have become shorthand for anti-Mexican sentiment, wrote the Forest Grove News-Times in covering the event. Forest Grove High has a 50 percent Latin population; Sherwood is at 8 percent.
By the time the marchers made it to Cannery Square, led by a banner reading, "Build Love NOT a Wall," Nguyen said the crowd ranged from between 100 to 115 students. Once there, the student speakers spoke about their experiences with racism and the fact racism exists in Sherwood, said Nguyen. While not Latino herself, Nguyen said she identifies as a person of color.
We were at the plaza for maybe a half hour, maybe longer, she said.
Nguyen said when talk started spreading about the planned Sherwood High School walkout on Thursday via social media and word of mouth, there was some skepticism about the number of students who would show up. However, she said she was impressed with the number who actually participated. In addition, she said some students thought the administration would shut down the event, something that didnt happen.
There were a number of administrators that walked behind us, said Nguyen, noting that Principal Ken Bell and Vice Principal Brian Bailey were among them.
Bell said they tagged along to make sure the students stayed safe. He noted that the students understood that they were engaging in an act of civil disobedience that was not sanctioned by the school and would receive an unexcused absence. However, none of the students will face any type of disciplinary action and Bell said all of them were well-behaved throughout the entire event.