As reported by the Miami Herald and documented in tweets from WLRN reporter Nadege C. Green, students held a press conference Wednesday to show a more diverse image of their high school, where black students make up 11 percent of the student body, according to the Herald. They wanted to address the predominately white image portrayed in the national media coverage following the February 14 mass shooting. Those students, including Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, a 17-year-old junior, spoke up about wanting to be represented in the national conversation around March For Our Lives, especially because gun violence impacts communities of color (and particularly, as per a 2015 Brookings Institute report, young black men.)
…“I know a lot of minorities are not joining us because they don’t see people like them talking about it,” Mei-Ling told Teen Vogue. The students she joined on Wednesday said they wholeheartedly support the movement and just want to be seen as a part of it.
…[Kai Koerber, a 17-year-old junior] said the heightened police presence at MSD that has come in response to the shootings is an alarming trend.
“It’s bad enough we have to return with clear backpacks,” he said at the press conference. “Should we also return with our hands up?”
For Kai, adding more police officers is far more concerning than reassuring. U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights data indicates that black students are disproportionately arrested at schools compared to their peers, as PBS reported. Kai told Teen Vogue that he has already been racially profiled at school by an officer.
“If we are going to have more police officers at school, that only makes the problem worse,” he said. “We are trying heal from the tragedy we experienced, but we’re being made to feel like prisoners.”