Wearing a Black Lives Matter t-shirt got a Senior at Buckeye Union High School called into her principals office. She says her principal asked her to remove the shirt after receiving a complaint from a student who was offended by it.

It all started when Mariah Harvard encountered a student who told her “black lives don’t matter” and “that shirt is meaningless.” Harvard attempted to explain what the shirt meant to her, but the other student complained and school leaders responded by banning the shirt.

Last Friday her vice principal ordered her to remove her sweatshirt to see if she was wearing the BLM shirt again, something local BLM activists call a “quasi-strip search.”

The incident prompted 10 students to stage a walk out where they were supported by their parents, community members, and local civil rights groups.

According to Great Schools, Buckeye Union High School has only 7% black students enrolled (53% Hispanic, 38% white). The school has graduation rates for all groups well above the state average, but low test scores.

School officials issued a statement that said the district “strives to remain politically neutral while still allowing for student expression.”

It should be surprising to all that in 2016 three obvious words, Black Lives Matter, are more than a “public” school can handle.

Chris Stewart is the Chief Executive Officer of Education Post, a media project of the Results in Education Foundation. He is a lifelong activist and 20-year supporter of nonprofit and education-related causes. Stewart has served as the director of outreach and external affairs for Education Post, the executive director of the African American Leadership Forum (AALF), and an elected member of the Minneapolis Public Schools Board of Education.


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