Wapping High prides itself on celebrating diversity, inclusivity and championing young people to speak their minds on important topics. In the past weeks, we have all been watching the protests sweep across America and the rest of the world, opening up important discussions into wider topics of race, inequality and our rights and responsibilities as democratic citizens.
Our students have been keen to discuss and learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement. We have had in-class debates and shared resources on Fleet and Tyburn Google Classroom. We will also be hosting an online staff and student panel discussion on Friday 12th June 2.30 pm to discuss questions such as: – What are the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement? – How has the media responded to BLM and why? – What role do protests play in a democracy? – What are the similarities and differences of policing in the USA and the UK? – What different forms can racism take and how do we tackle them as a society / as a school / as an individual? Here are a few statements from our students: The Black Lives Matter movement is essential. Police brutality and racism to the black community in America is huge, hundreds of innocent people, including young teenagers and children, have been killed for being black. The institutional racism within the American Law Enforcement needs to change immediately and as the state is not listening to the people, they have taken to mass protests to avenge equality and raise awareness for racism in America. It is vital that this change happens. Esma – Year 10 The Black Lives Matter movement is only to create awareness and to create equality for black people. So the term ‘all lives matter’ will only matter once ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’. The #blackouttuesday on social media educated a lot of people including myself and it gave people a chance to understand why this movement is important and that’s because black people are tired of not being treated fairly and me myself from an ethnic minority knows there are struggles and times when you are treated unfairly. I know many people are waiting for “normality” but what is normality now? Normality now includes the inclusivity of black lives and black people and treating them as equals is normality. I have learned a lot and I hope I can help educate a lot more people in the future too. Yasmin – Year 11