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Sit in for unity draws students and staff

Mayra+Favela+speaks+to+students+during+a+sit+in+for+unity.+She+organized+the+even+which+took+place+at+the+beginning+of+fourth+block.
Mayra Favela speaks to students during a sit in for unity. She organized the even which took place at the beginning of fourth block.

Mayra Favela speaks to students during a sit in for unity. She organized the even which took place at the beginning of fourth block.

Tor Gullholm

Tor Gullholm

Mayra Favela speaks to students during a sit in for unity. She organized the even which took place at the beginning of fourth block.

Tor Gullholm

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Between second lunch and fourth block, students gathered in the commons for a sit in protest. The purpose of the sit in was to make one thing clear: Tigard High School is a place of acceptance and love, and is a school for all students. Principal, Andy Van Fleet gave a short speech at the start of the event, which clarified that this protest was not politically motivated. A dozen or so teachers monitored the crowds of attending students, along with a handful of security personnel.

The face of the demonstration, Mayra Favela, took inspiration from Tualatin High School’s protest, which took place earlier in the day. With the cooperation of school administrators, Favela organized the event; she called for students to join her through social media and rallied even more students during second lunch. Because the demonstration was executed on the day of its conception, student turnout was lower in comparison to last year’s protest walkout. Our current political atmosphere may have contributed to way in which this protest was carried out.

“Politics makes people really mad and really heated, and just doesn’t get anywhere. Everybody has different opinions. I can’t go over some things because I didn’t want to be targeted for my political views. The whole point of the message was that we are all in this together,” Favela said.

With this in mind, Favela gave a segmented speech to her fellow students; calling for unity and safety at THS. A consistent theme of tolerance germinated behind her words, as students and staff applauded her for speaking openly with them.

“Honestly, the point of the rally was to let everyone know that this is not about political views. This is about Tigard uniting as one–to let everyone know that you’re loved. No matter who our president is, you are loved,” Favela said.

Among the staff members at the demonstration, some joined the students on the floor. These staff members, some teary-eyed, listened to Favela’s speech as participants in the protest. Media assistant, Eryn Mckee was on of these staff members. She chose to attend the event so as to show her support for the students and the message they were trying to send.

“I think it was done well, and it was not disruptive. When kids went back to class–it’s hard to say if that caused a disruption. It looked like people worked together to clear the commons, take the tables up, move them out of the way, clear the floor… It looked like staff and students worked together,” Mckee said. “Hopefully it will spread the message that everyone here is loved and cared for by the staff and students. We want it to be a safe place for all.”

After Favela’s speech–which was about five minutes long–students were dismissed and ushered back to their classes by Van Fleet. Finishing soon after the official start of fourth block, the rally received positive reactions from those in attendance.

1 Comment

One Response to “Sit in for unity draws students and staff”

  1. PeacefulProtest on January 16th, 2017 12:48 pm

    I find it interesting as to just how little critical thinking is being done by some of your “interviews”, you seem to completely forget that the electoral college is here for a reason. It was created in order to be fair to the states. If we simply followed a strict popular vote, California, New York, and Texas would be the deciding factors. This would be an end to our federal presidential constitutional republic. If the popular vote was the method of choice, the states’ interests would be lost. States were created to function with semi-autonomy and together they form the USA, so if the popular vote was allowed, states in the midwest and states such as Oregon with lower populations would not have much value. Farm areas would receive no acknowledgment as they make up less of the population compared to high density population areas such as cities. If you want to have truly equal representation between people groups, it is necessary to use the electoral college.
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