Black Parkland Students Say School Shut Down Black Lives Matter Speech Weeks Before The Shooting

They are demanding the media listen to their concerns about police shootings and community gun violence.

Black students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are using their platform to reveal the lack of attention they’ve received before and after the tragic shooting.

According to several students, the administration silenced their attempt to defend Black Lives Matter during a Black History Month Show. The statement was intended to be in response to an “All Lives Matter” column written in the school’s paper, according to WLRN.

Black organizers at the school planned to read their rebuttal to the school paper, during the show in order to strengthen the conversation surrounding Black activism.

“The rebuttal was pretty much saying that that the Black Lives Matter movement is a respected movement,” said Mei-Ling Ho-Shing, a junior who helped plan the Feb. 9 show.

However, when the students took the stage to deliver the message, a teacher had the speakers’ microphone cut off and asked the student to leave the stage.

Broward County Public School spokesperson told WLRN they cut off the mics because the message was not approved.

“Due to the potential for disruption and breach in protocol, the student was asked to stop and leave the stage,” read an email to WLRN. The spokesperson also said the school “is committed to providing learning environments that foster inclusion and respect.”

A week after the troubling incident, 17 students and adults at the school were killed during a mass shooting. In the wake of the violence, many white students have been applauded for their ability to unite, organize, and protest.

The 400 black students who also attend Douglas want the same recognition.

Tyah-Amoy Roberts, a junior at the school who helped write the Black Lives Matter statement, and others called a press conference over spring break to demand the media listen to their call for gun reform in instances of domestic violence, neighborhood shootings and police shootings.

“The Black Lives Matter movement has been addressing this topic since the murder of Trayvon Martin, since 2012,” she said. “Yet we’ve never seen this kind of support for our cause. And we surely do not feel that the lives or voices of minorities are as valued as our white counterparts.”

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