A group of Black students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of February’s tragic mass shooting, want to make sure their thoughts on gun violence are also heard.
While teens like David Hogg and Emma González have caught the media’s attention, and even appeared on the cover of Time, some of Stoneman Douglas’ Black students feel their message is being ignored.
Thursday, a group of Black students held a news conference at the school to demand the discussion about gun violence include the police, who often racially profile people of color.
“Black and brown men and women are disproportionately targeted and killed by law enforcement, based on population,” Tyah-Amoy, a Stoneman Douglas student, said. “These are not facts I can live with comfortably.”
Since the shooting at the school, which left 17 people dead, police have stepped up their presence on campus. Though the move was no doubt put in place to make students feel safe, some Black students, who make up 11 percent of Stoneman Douglas’ population, said it has the opposite effect.
“It’s bad enough we have to return with clear backpacks,” 17-year-old Kai Koerber said. “Should we also return with our hands up?”
“They were shook. It felt like there was a thousand police there,” Tifanny Burks, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Alliance Broward, told the Miami Herald. “Having all those police there made their school feel like a prison.”
Since the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, the conversation around gun control has intensified. Last week, thousands of people across the country took to the streets for the March For Our Lives, a demonstration spurred on by the students from Stoneman Douglas.
The march was inclusive, with several Black students taking the stage.