On October 14th I told you about how the Seattle Schools were organizing a “Black Lives Matter” Day in an effort to close the achievement gap between black and white students.
Apparently the students at Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way (south of Seattle) thought that would be a great idea as well. Turns out the event didn’t go as planned.
From MyNorthwest.com: As the Federal Way controversy over a high school Black Lives Matter event continues, one person is not around school to see how tensions are being addressed.
“I feel very unsafe going back to that school,” said Ellie Mae Haine, further saying she feels like she is in danger at Todd Beamer High School. “As it stands right now I don’t feel safe going to that school,” she said. “There’s no possible way I could go back right now.”
Ellie is a 14-years-old freshman at Todd Beamer High School.
One week ago, a student was arrested after allegedly fighting, and then assaulting an on-campus police officer. A Black Lives Matter event was organized the following week — kids were encouraged to wear black. It was organized by students. But Haine did not want to participate.
“We were all pressured into wearing black because it seemed that most of the teachers agreed with this movement,” Ellie said. “And we couldn’t’ decide whether we should participate or not. And I just went for it and didn’t participate.
“When it comes down to it, I don’t think it should have anything to do with race. I just thought it was someone who didn’t have enough discipline or respect for authority.”
Tensions between students who supported the Black Lives Matter event and those who did not participate erupted in the days since the initial arrest. It led to a school board meeting, where Ellie spoke, saying: “I still don’t understand why we were told to wear black to show support for this girl who has assaulted police officers more than just last week.”
The next day, Ellie returned to school.
“The day after the school board meeting, I came to school,” she said. “Everything went well until lunch. We were standing in the hallway outside of the cafeteria – I was with about 15 friends.”
“The girl who had been arrested and who assaulted the cop, she came up to me and started yelling profanities in my face and seemed really angry,” Ellie said. “Before I had any time to explain myself, a mob of 50-60 angry students came yelling my name. Most of them I didn’t know. My friends pushed me behind them because they saw that this wasn’t good.”
Teachers came and were pushing back the crowd of students. Ellie found a police officer in the lunch room nearby. He escorted her outside the building. Her mom came to pick her up and the officer advised that the freshman stay away from school for a couple of days until things calmed down.
Ellie and her mom met with school officials and some of the high school’s Black Lives Matter students. She said that one of the Black Lives Matter students said he didn’t like how things had turned out. He offered to escort her from class to class and defend her if need be.