Category Archives: Feature

Voices of Victims: The Social Revolution Sweeping the Nation Hits Alarmingly Close to Home for Students

by Harris Yun – Staff Writer

Reading about sexual harassment in the news, it seems so far away. A distant crime that, while horrible, could never happen here at Kentlake – but it can. Even worse, it has.

Sexual harassment is defined as “harassment in a professional or social situation involving the making of unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks.” It is not just limited to inappropriate contact, but even extremely lewd remarks fall under this umbrella of sexual harassment. School is the last place anybody should feel unsafe, but unfortunately, it does happen.

It is so common, in fact, that you probably personally know someone who has been harassed. It is not just limited to women; anybody can be a victim. The thing is, everybody is too scared or ashamed to talk about it – and for good reason.

In today’s high school culture, it is seen as an embarrassment to be sexually harassed. In the commons, you hear students talking about rumors of people being harassed, you see people getting catcalled, and people don’t do anything about it. It’s so ingrained in our society as the normal way of things that people are afraid to ‘make waves’ and come forward with accusations or evidence. And, when they finally work up the nerve to say something, the knee jerk reaction some people have is to get angry about them coming forward, accusing the victims of seeking attention.

To truly fight this growing tide of sexual harassment, we need to foster a safer environment. We need to reduce the stigma of being harassed. A victim is not less of a person for being a victim. Kentlake should be a place where anyone can talk about sensitive subjects without being a target of ridicule.

The Haunted History of the Black Diamond Cemetery

The Rumors

Throughout the years, there have been many reports of potential paranormal activity coming from the Black Diamond Cemetery. Visitors have reported the sounds of voices, and hazy clouds that seem ghostly in appearance. Others have said that they feel as if they’re being watched, especially from the Southeast corner of the cemetery. Some have even told of an ethereal white horse standing over one of the gravestones.

Past Investigations

Though difficult to confirm, there have been investigations into the matter. PSGH -the Puget Sound Ghost Hunters- reported many of these phenomena happening on a small scale during their visit. Using an Ovilus, a device intended to let any potential spirits use the programming to speak, they heard the word “five” several times. The PSGH thought to note this as the number of investigators they had there at the time was five. They also reported hearing the words “Stairs”, “Property”, and “Angel”. Interestingly, the last three were said near a grave with an angel headstone, that happened to be quite close to a set of stairs, although they claim that this isn’t definitive proof.

Kentlake Investigation

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, evidence has been a bit too weak to actually prove that anything supernatural is there. According to the findings of the students who investigated the graveyard on their own, they saw nothing particularly noteworthy either. Still, the spooky tales of the Black Diamond Cemetery are interesting enough to warrant a look into its history.

Featured this Month: The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

by Jillian Felker

The North West Immigrants’ Rights Project (NWIRP) works to promote justice by defending the rights of immigrants through legal services, systematic advocacy, and community education. NWIRP’s legal services help thousands of immigrants in Washington State and in the United States to navigate through legal systems and can them to apply for asylum or other forms of protection. Access to NWIRP can also be a major factor in providing economic and personal security. Without legal support, many clients would be unable to have basic services such as housing, medical assistance or even basic services, as many immigrant’s fear notifying the police for protection from violence and other crimes. The NWIRP’s principles are shown through their work, as they advocate for dignity, fairness, solidarity, Self-determination, safety and inclusion.
“We are the, I would say the largest services provider in Washington state. That Provides all different forms of immigration really for low-income immigrants and it ranges from Asylum to family services like family petitions, citizenship, Differed action for childhood arrivals, and then U-Visas, follow-up petitions. So there’s a lot of different types of forms really. We have four offices, one in Seattle, one in Tacoma, one in Wenatchee, which is eastern Washington, and Granger which is also eastern Washington.” Said Michele Suarez, Staff Attorney (DACA) at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “You can think of the Northwest Immigrant Rights project as an immigration law firm, but all of our services are completely for free… We want to make sure that our community members are receiving excellent legal services, despite the fact that they might not be able to afford a private immigration attorney.” Said Tania Santiago, Legal Advocate (VAWA) at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

Careers in Immigration Law

by Angel Terry

During conversations about foreign policy and immigration, those who are aware of their citizenship often feel as though there is nothing they can do to alleviate that situation. In contrast, many people do not take into account just how much immigrants affect their daily lives – and in turn are dismissive towards their issues. “It is human rights, to have a safe place to live and safe access to food, and water and sometimes if people cannot find that in their home country they have to go and find some place that can. It is a universal thing no matter where you go.” Said Gabriella Marcia.
The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project seeks to provide ordinary citizens with resources and tools for getting involved with helping on projects associated with immigration. NWIRP is the only Washington State organization that provides comprehensive legal-service to low-income immigrants and refugees. NWIRP seeks to find volunteers who have a passion for aiding with legal immigration issues, or plan to attend law school with a focus in immigration legal services or justice.
While the agency has no specific ways that high school students are able to help, it does provide a legitimate resource to contact after post-secondary education in the field of immigration legal services.
At the end of the day, immigrants and refugees are people, and contributing members of society. People who are immigrants surround us, the people who are closest to us in proximity can be immigrants and one would not even know, considering the sensitivity of disclosing such information. They are our friends, coworkers, employers, teachers, coaches – the list is endless.
Pursuing a career in legal immigration services will seek to alleviate the already negative connotation that comes with being an immigrant, and making a significant improvement of the lives of people who simply want to do better for themselves.
“We really need volunteers who can commit to long times, because it takes a long time to train someone…To do an internship, we always have like law school internship, but occasionally we have college students help. If they are interested in a full time commitment of like ten weeks… Its nine to five, Monday through Friday, so I know that’s tough because of school and even college students are very interested and want to help but we really cannot do something that just a few hours once a month… As far as what you can do, because you are so young is just educating your friends and other people so that they know and they can tell their friends, and I think that’s very important. Writing blogs, or if you see something that is very offensive to stand up to it. People think because they are between 15-18 they do not have a voice, but they do. Going to protests or just really educating others, I think it’s the main thing you can do for now and then when you’re in college, there is going to be more opportunities to pursue something in that direction. You can always tell others to donate. If you know other people with money, they can donate, because we operate by donations… We really need money because we hired a few new positions, but we need donations to keep coming so that we can keep people that we have hired and keep doing community presentations.” Said Michele Suarez.

Immigrants: Know Your Rights

by Grace Frunk, Jillian Felker, Madsion Marko, Angel Terry

What is DACA?

DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA is designed to help undocumented youth, who meet certain requirements, obtain temporary immigration protections such as work permits, and protection from deportation. “Its really hard for people to get all this documentation if they were out of school for a long time and then, now it’s almost a ten year requirement. In June it will be ten years that they have to show all the documentation and all they get out of this is a work permit that only lasts for 2 years.” Said Michele Suarez.
The Northwest Immigrant rights project (NWIRP) holds free workshops in Wenatchee and Seattle. These workshops help explain DACA requirements, and help individuals apply. It is mandatory to have an appointment to attend a free legal clinic; these clinics are for volunteers to help fill out forms for renewals.
Please note: President Trump threatened to remove the DACA program within the first 100 days of his presidency. Although Trump has yet to remove the DACA program, NWIRP does not recommend that new applicants apply for the DACA program. Individuals may apply for DACA at their own risks. “We are advising people, if you have any criminal history, Don’t apply, because there is a huge risk. It’s not just getting denied, but you can be placed in removal proceedings, meaning you might have immigration court and be deported.” Said Suarez.
“I have literary met people who, came here when they were eight months and have never left the United States. And now, they are in their early twenties and if they were deported…they would be going to a country they never knew… That is what I primarily work in, Deferred Action or Childhood Arrival, to help. A lot of people have DACA now, but there is still people who are eligible and under this administration, it is very difficult because Trump said he was going to end that program that Obama started. So then, what’s going happen with the million young adults who are like your age (high school aged). It’s literary taking you to a different country. As far as your roll, just knowing, and educating because that’s the best. Starting conversations with people don’t know…A lot of people even don’t that non-citizens or you can call them undocumented immigrants have the right to remain silent if ICE tries to approach them… There are just these basic constitutional rights in our constitution that says all persons; it doesn’t say you have to be a U.S Citizen.” Said Suarez.

Vawa Unit: (survivors of domestic violence)

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides representation to immigrants who are survivors of domestic violence. These survivors are looking for immigration benefits. The primary cases that the VAWA Unit handles includes U Visa Petitions; T Visa Petitions; VAWA Self-Petitions; and Petitions for Waiver to Remove Conditions on Residency; as well as Removal (Deportation) Defense in Immigration Court.
VAWA and Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (VTVPA) work to guarantee that a person’s immigration status does not make them dependent on their abusers. There are four groups of immigrant survivors who are protected by these laws:
Victims of certain crimes, including domestic violence and sexual assault, and their families;
Spouses, children, and parents of abusive United States citizens or lawful permanent residents;
Immigrant children in foster care who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned;
Immigrant survivors of violence who are in removal (deportation) proceedings.

Youth Immigrants’ Rights:

Immigrant youth have the right to avoid/escape mistreatment, such as abandonment, abuse, neglect, or anything other form of mistreatment by a parent. Special Immigrant Juveniles Status (SIJS) provides relief to children and youth who deal with mistreatments such as the ones listed above. You are eligible to apply for SIJS, if a state juvenile court determines that you cannot be reunified with the parent(s) who have abused, abandoned, neglected or mistreated. The court must also decide that the child should not be returned to their home country. When a child or youth is given SIJS they are then eligible to apply for a green card in the U.S.

Obtaining U.S. Citizenship:

All immigrants have the right to become a U.S citizen. Any immigrant can gain U.S citizenship by meeting the requirements as a lawful permanent resident. An immigrant may apply to become a U.S citizen five years after they become a lawful permanent resident. If they are married to a U.S citizen, they may apply after three years of being a lawful permanent resident. Immigrants must show that they have good moral character/no-disqualifying criminal record. They must pass a test demonstrating an ability to read, write and speak in English, and have an understanding of the U.S government. Gaining U.S citizenship provides the right to vote in federal, state and local elections. They have greater rights when it comes to filing petitions to reunite with family members. They are secure from being deported.

Facing Removal:

All immigrants have the right to be treated respectfully and with dignity. Detainees, although not limited to, are asylum seekers fleeing persecution in their own country, but end up landing in a detention facility after attempting to across the U.S border. According to the NWIRP website, “Detainees include breadwinners separated from families that depend on them, pregnant mothers, the mentally ill, members of the LGBT community and even U.S. citizens who are wrongfully detained.”

Keeping Families Together:

NWIRP helps keep families together. They provide assistance with family visa applications and represent family members facing deportation. Family Visa Workshops are held once a month in Seattle. These provide a 40 minute presentation for an overview of the family-based petition process. Each workshop can have no more than 40 attendants.
To sign up for a Family Visa Workshop and intake call 206-587-4009 if you live in western Washington, Call 509-854-2100 (Granger office) if you live in eastern Washington or 509-570-0054 (Wenatchee office) for individual intakes.

Immigration Raids:

Anyone who does uphold to having lawful immigration status and persons who have status, but have certain criminal convictions are at risk for being arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Trump Administrations claims to initially focus on deporting the following people:
People who have pending criminal cases AND/OR prior criminal convictions.
People with final orders of removal.
People who have committed fraud or misrepresentation in applications to the government.
Lastly, anyone who they believe poses a threat to public safety or national security.
To find out what ways ICE could know you, how to protect yourself from raids, and what rights you have when it comes to immigration raids, go to the “know your rights” section on the NWIRP website and scroll down the page until you find “How to Protect Yourself from Immigration Raids.”

Asylum: individuals who gain safety in another country who are escaping persecution in their home countries.

NWIRP’s asylum unit can help with assisting pro se applicants by guiding them through the application process. Every single immigrant has the right to seek a safe haven. International and U.S law entitles people who are in fear of returning to their home country, because of persecution or torture, eligible for asylum.
NWIRP assist with filing applications for asylum with U.S citizenship and they can represent asylum seekers with their interviews and immigration court hearings. NWIRP will defend asylees, asylum-seekers and refugees against deportation from the U.S in Immigration and federal courts.

Cuong Ngo (bingo): Vietnam

It’s almost time I have to say goodbye to Vietnam and moving on to a new country. That means I have to say goodbye to where I was born and grew up for my pass twelve years. All the good and bad memories, they will stay in my heart. I need to move on to a new country, they call United States. Everyone has a dream to live there, and to make their lives better. It makes me feel special. Even though I will miss all that I’ve known.
For the first time, I was on a plane. I was so excited to come to the USA – that feeling was indescribable. It makes me feel like I can fly, for the first time I had arrived in the US. The Seattle airport was huge and beautiful, with lot of people from a different countries in the airport. They were walking fast; I think they cannot wait to see their family, just like my dad wants to see my mom and I. However, my mom and I were lost because we did not know the way and we did not speak English. We were lucky, there was a Vietnamese guy who came to us and helped us out. After we got out of the airport. The first thing we saw was my dad and my dad’s family. They were really happy to see us, then they took us home. When I went outside of the airport, the sky was inky, rainy and cold. I smelled the fresh air from the rain clearing out of the city. In the city where I lived everyone knew they have the light, it means you can see all of the view, it looks like the morning, and in the US they don’t have that much light. I had never been on a freeway, freeway to drive home fast. To me it is like a new world, everything it’s different to me.
After I came to the US, I felt like I already ended one of my chapters of my life. In my new chapter, I have a lot of challenge to face with. My first challenge, was for me to learn how to speak English. My uncle had to find school for me, and what grade I was going in to. This was a hard challenge for my mom and I because, we did not speak English. My English was so bad, the only thing I knew how to say was “hello”, and “how are you?” I was feeling really down. I had no friends that can cheer me up, but finally, I made friends. I still cannot understand what they are trying say. I wondered how I can learn English, how long it takes me to understand and know everything like a person born in United States. I had a feeling that the challenge was getting harder for my mom and I. My mom had to find a job, learn to drive and learn to speak English just like me. We are must put more efforts to study, my parents, and I. They were just worried about money and their jobs too much, but they forgot that they need to study and spend time with their kid, and I think they just worried too much of everything to plan; buying cars and a house. I felt they are carrying a big world on their back just like the Greek God Atlas. Atlas carried the world on his shoulder, and so my mother. She has to worry about her family in Vietnam and worry about all my family problems in the United States. It makes me sad and worried about her. If I work hard more in school and understand all the paper bills, I can help her a little bit with her problem. Maybe it’s not a big thing but at least my mom will not stress out too much about English.
English is really hard, It has many ways to say one idea. I have a feeling that my mom and I had become newborn babies again. We had to start everything over, it was like a newborn baby when they are hungry or they want something they just cry until they get what they want. I had to learn English from the beginning, learning kid’s songs and trying to catch up all the missing work just like other friends. I have to study day and night, because that helped me understand English better, and I had to learn to speak. My parent push me a lot. They always said “You have to study and study, that is the only thing that can help you. No one can really help you in the future.” After one month in elementary school, I got a little better, and then summer came. My uncle made me study vocab words for months, days, weeks, years, and how to ask questions when I don’t understand. Every week he comes over and I have to do quizzes for all the lessons he teaches me. After three months, school began -all my friends were surprised that I got much better when they first saw me. But to me that was not enough, I have try harder and harder. I need to worry about my future, what I’m going to be. At that time, I was feeling down because I could not help my family. I was crying like a baby, just because I could not help and I am frustrated. I was falling and falling but I never give up, I have to stand up and tell myself I can do anything I want. I remember a quote about failing “If you are not failing, you never know what you did wrong and never learn the lesson.” I keep standing up every time I fall, but it helps me learn the lesson of what I did wrong. Just like a ten-month old learning to walk, they might fail but they always stand up by themselves. That is how they learn and also that’s how I learned my lesson. How I can make my dream come true? If I want to make my dream come true, I have to put more effort into my learning and studying.

Anonymous: Nepal

I came from Nepal. My family and I came here because the refugee camp we were staying in was not good—there was lots of fighting and people getting drunk. It was a hard life. At the camp we had no electricity, phones, cars, or technology of any kind. This situation is why we decided to come to the United States. Even though we struggled there, it has not been easy here either. When we came, we didn’t know English. But, there is definitely more freedom here than Nepal. I like going to school, and my favorite subject is science.

Anonymous: Ethiopia

I came to the United States from Ethiopia. I have family here that I came to join. We came in search of a better life and a better education. It took two days to get here by plane, and the rain was a shock. In Ethiopia there is nine months of summer, but here there is a lot of rain. I have been in the United States for two years, and the hardest part was learning English. It was difficult to communicate with people at first. My favorite part about Kentlake has been the students—they are very friendly, and my favorite subject is math. Although I like it here, I do miss my family in Ethiopia.

Mr. Kentlake

Written, designed, and compiled by Delanie Meisner – Editor-in-Chief and Feature Editor

Photos by Lauren Killgrove and Nicholas Runyon.


Nik Hendrickson


Why did you decide to compete for Mr. Kentlake?

I did it because there wasn’t enough people at the time, and I did it so we’d have enough money for prom and the prices wouldn’t be so high.

What makes you eligible to be Mr. Kentlake?

I think anybody can do it, really. If they want to do it, why not?

Why do you think you should be crowned Mr. Kentlake?

Why I think I should be crowned? I’m just hoping I can get enough people to like me as much as the others, if not more.

What is your strategy for winning?

Strategy? Trying to get the crowd to laugh and get them involved.

Can you reveal anything special about your act?

It’s just something I’ve been teaching myself over the past few days, and I’m just trying to perfect it.

How would you celebrate?

I’ll obviously be excited, but I’ll probably just have family and stuff with me, or friends.

What has preparing for your competition been like?

It hasn’t been that hard. The hardest part has been like, just figuring out what I’m going to do and what I need to get for it.

Aaron Byrd


Why did you decide to compete for Mr. Kentlake?

Not a lot of guys were doing it and I just kind of thought it was a fun way to, I don’t know, it’s just kind of a tradition.

What makes you eligible to be Mr. Kentlake?

I mean, I’m a senior, so that automatically qualifies me. So, I mean, I don’t know.

Why do you think you should be crowned Mr. Kentlake?

I’m not going to say I should be crowned Mr. Kentlake, but I think my act is pretty fire.

What is your strategy for winning?

Make as much of an ass of myself as possible.

Can you reveal anything special about your act?

I’ll be wearing a dress.

How would you celebrate?

I don’t know. Probably just go home.

What has preparing for your competition been like?

Well, the snow-pocalypse kind of ruined everyone’s plans for anything and now we’re trying to scramble and get everything all ready.

Brandon Jessup


Why did you decide to compete for Mr. Kentlake?

‘Cause it was fun.

What makes you eligible to be Mr. Kentlake?

‘Cause I’m super cool.

Why do you think you should be crowned Mr. Kentlake?

‘Cause I’m super cool.

What is your strategy for winning?

I’ll just go up there and be like, ‘Okay guys, I’m the coolest guy up here, just vote for me.’ And everyone will just vote.

Can you reveal anything special about your act?

I might possibly die, but it will be great. It will be huge. It’ll be tremendous.

What has preparing for your competition been like?


Chris Moore


Why did you decide to compete for Mr. Kentlake?

It’s senior, and why not do something to make people laugh?

What makes you eligible to be Mr. Kentlake?

I’m a funny guy who thinks he can make it as Mr. Kentlake.

Why do you think you should be crowned Mr. Kentlake?

I’m doing it more not to be crowned, but just to make people laugh. So if I lose, I lose. If I win, I win.

What is your strategy for winning?

Make everybody laugh as hard as they can.

Can you reveal anything special about your act?

I’ll bring the good old country-boy charm.

How would you celebrate?

Go have a bonfire.

What has preparing for your competition been like?

Listening to the songs that I want to be in my act, and then making sure I have all the costumes ready.

Niklas Henning


Why did you decide to compete for Mr. Kentlake?

I decided because I kind of wanted to push myself, step out of my comfort zone.

What makes you eligible to be Mr. Kentlake?

I think I have a right attitude towards it, just have fun and stuff. And also that, I’m just there to have fun and also have some unique talents.

Why do you think you should be crowned Mr. Kentlake?

I don’t know if I should specifically be crowned anything. I think everyone that’s competing in Mr. Kentlake is actually good, so I think whoever ends up going to kind of deserves it.

What is your strategy for winning?

Just to have fun.

Can you reveal anything special about your act?

I think it’s pretty much all secret, though, some of my friends know what I’m doing. But other than that…

How would you celebrate?

With other people.

What has preparing for your competition been like?

It’s actually been pretty fun as a group. We started a group chat, just out there practicing and stuff like that. It’s pretty fun.

Alec Johnson


Why did you decide to compete for Mr. Kentlake?

I decided to compete for Mr. Kentlake because not a lot of sophomores do and I just thought that I would have a good time and just make fun of myself all the time.

What makes you eligible to be Mr. Kentlake?

I think I bring some comedy to the table, I am all right at singing, I think I am a good singer, and I enjoy going out there and making a scene and making a big production.

Why do you think you should be crowned Mr. Kentlake?

Because I’m a really funny guy, and I think I’ll show my heart out at Mr. Kentlake.

What is your strategy for winning?

My strategy is just to make the biggest fool of myself and go as hard as I can.

Can you reveal anything special about your act?

It’s all secret.

How would you celebrate?

I would probably invite all the contestants to my house and have a big dinner or party or something.

What has preparing for your competition been like?

It’s been really stressful because I don’t know if what I’m going to do is funny, so I keep constantly thinking, ‘is this going to be funny with people? Is this going to be okay?’ And stuff like that. It’s been kind of stressful trying to figure everything out like that.

Kyle Combs


Why did you decide to compete for Mr. Kentlake?

It was my senior year and last year it was really fun.

What makes you eligible to be Mr. Kentlake?

I think I am outgoing and a fun, funny person.

Why do you think you should be crowned Mr. Kentlake?

I don’t know. Because it would be a great honor and I would appreciate it.

What is your strategy for winning?

Make myself look goofy.

Can you reveal anything special about your act?

The fashion show, that’s going to be pretty funny.

How would you celebrate?

I would probably go out to dinner with my friends.

What has preparing for your competition been like?

Practices two times a week and trying to come up with new ideas. Yeah, Its been really fun, I enjoy hanging out with all the guys, and its great company.









by Reonna Haywood – Staff Reporter

When George Zimmerman, a neighborhood crime watch captain, shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman told the police, “…that Martin knocked him down with a punch to the nose, and repeatedly slammed his head on the ground and tried to take his gun.” Zimmerman said, “He had called the police about Martin, whom he found suspicious, then went back to his car when Martin attacked him, punching him. The police told Zimmerman to stop following Martin, however, he did not follow their orders. Martin’s girlfriend overheard a conversation between Martin and Zimmerman where Martin asked Zimmerman why he was continually following him, which ended in a scuffle and then the line went dead. Zimmerman shot Martin when he allegedly went for his gun. According to the Huffingtonpost, as of Sept. 21, “136 African Americans dead in 2016.” The police have killed 136 African Americans, who were mostly unarmed. The violence against African Americans must stop; one movement trying to bring clarity to the issue is #BlackLivesMatter.
Due to the violent deaths of African Americans at the police’s hands, and Treyvon Martin’s death, #BlackLivesMatter was created in the summer of 2013. That’s when a person tweeted about the violence and then following the tweet wrote #BlackLivesMatter. As the hashtag gained more popularity, the movement was founded by African American community organizers: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.
#BlackLivesMatter shows how negatively many people around the world feel about violence toward African Americans. African Americans are angry about the violence happening based on discrimination. Community in school & BSU Co-founder Nasarin Ahmed said “We are afraid that one day it will be one of our own that will be shot or end up on a YouTube video.” Said Ahmed. White Americans don’t know this fear, because they are not targeted every day. African American parents have to tell their kids different things than white people do. African Americans have to tell their kids not to wear their hoods up, don’t talk back to authority, don’t wear gang colors or bandanas, don’t play loud music when driving; basically, don’t bring attention to yourself. White Americans don’t understand how much stress and violence African Americans go through daily.
The violence that has happen in 2016 has brought #BlackLivesMatter to everybody’s attention. African Americans need the police force to see that discriminating against African Americans is not acceptable and is leading to additional violence. African Americans deserve peace and freedom, just like the Constitution states for all Americans. Unfortunately, kids feel unsafe outside of their homes, because of their skin color. The police are supposed to protect and be role models.
#BlackLivesMatter is not so much a movement, as a call to attention to show how African Americans are mistreated and are dying every day. Black lives matter as much as white lives matter; all are humans and should be treated equally. People are tired of police terrorizing African Americans. #BlackLivesMatter is a start to a conversation that needs to take place: a call to action. This problem has been going on since slavery, since the Jim Crow Laws, and since the March on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement. We are in the midst of a new Civil Rights Movement that must take place in order for equality and justice to happen for everyone.

Tamir Rice

tamir rice
Tamir Rice was a 12-years-old boy, who was playing in the park with a BB gun who was caught pointing it around when a women called it in but stated twice that it might be a fake gun. The police arrived at the scene and fatally shot him; they did not supply first aid until it was too late and he died. Tamir Rice was only 12 years old. His mom Samaria has lost her son to violence by the police department, she has lost her son because he was playing with a bb gun. Instead of the police investigating the scene, the police pulled out their guns.

Sandra Bland

Sandra Bland was 28-years-old, she was pulled over for an improper lane change and then the Texas trooper arrested her on charges of assault. She was found hung in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. In her mugshot, she already looks dead. When Sandra Bland’s mom questioned the police about her death, her mom sued them and received a settlement of $1.9 million dollars for justice.

Terence Crutcher

terence crutcher
Terence Crutcher, 40 years old, was shot and killed Friday, Sept. 16. After the officers were supposed to respond to an unrelated call, they spotted his vehicle stuck in the middle of the roadway. Officer Betty Shelby, and a second officer, Tyler Turnbough took action. Crutcher followed the orders the police officers told him which is supported by footage, but officer Turnbough pulled out his taser which made Crutcher fall to the floor. Officer Shelby pulled out her gun and fired the fatal shot. Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan said, “There was no gun found on Crutcher or in his vehicle.” Crutcher was nonviolent, not armed, but Shelby still shot a gun at him. Chief Jordan said, “I will just make this promise to you: We will achieve justice in this case. I want to assure our community and I want to assure all of you and people across the nation who are going to be looking at this: We will achieve Justice period.”

Keith Lamont Scott

keith lamont scott
As recently as Sept. 20, Keith Lamont Scott 43-years-old, was murdered by the police in Charlotte, North Carolina because they mistook a book for a gun. He was shot at his house while waiting for his son’s elementary school bus to arrive. This time, an African American officer shot Scott. Scott’s family said he didn’t have a gun, that he was reading a book and was being non-aggressive when the police surrounded him. Attorney Justin Bamberg, who is representing Scott’s family said, “The videos don’t show anything that should have led to Scott losing his life.”
People taking a stand…

Protesting during national anthem and pledge

Many are mad at Colin Kaepernick for first sitting and then kneeling during the National Anthem, but want to make excuses for the police who constantly killing African Americans. Terence Crutcher is another example why Kaepernick is protesting, Kaepernick is standing for social injustices, because the freedoms of our nation guarantees in the Constitution are not being applied to everyone. In a quote in the New York Times, Kaepernick said, “Once again, I’m not anti-American,” Kaepernick said. “I love America. I love people. That’s why I’m doing this. I want to help make America better. I think having these conversations helps everybody have a better understanding of where everybody is coming from.”
At school, some feel the same as Kaepernick. Although students are expected to stand up during the Pledge of Allegiance during the third period announcements, Senior Hezekiah Goodwin chooses to sit. “I sit down for the pledge because I feel the country is divided and the African American community is being unjustly treated. I want to join the movement along with Kaepernick and the others who also believe this. It’s to make a statement.” Said Goodwin.