On Friday November 10, 2017 a group of students got together and held an organized blackout at Lake Howell High School. A blackout is when a group of people wear all black to signify that they are against something that has happened or is happening; a blackout typically happens within the African American community.
The blackout was not organized as a part of Lake Howell’s Black Achievement Cultural Club (BACC). It was, however, arranged by a few students who are in the club.
The students organized this blackout date because they felt as though their opinions, as well as others, were not being respected regarding their choice to sit during the Pledge of Allegiance, especially under occasions where teachers had asked students to leave class.
Student Tymia Williams (Junior) commented,“It was very important for this to happen because they [our community] need to know that we matter too.”
One student, Nyla Davis (Junior), has been told to leave her first period class a total of three times in the week prior to the blackout for sitting during the pledge.
Davis said the teacher had not said anything the entire year until the recent announcement made by Principal Kotkin about people who have continued to walk during the pledge. Davis said, “I don’t understand. I’ve been doing the same thing since the first day of school.” Davis is one of several who have been asked to leave class.
After speaking with Principal Kotkin about the issue, he clarified that “students should have a pass if their teachers have any issues. There will be no disciplinary actions unless a student defies the teacher.”
Mr. Kotkin attended the BACC meeting and talked with the students face to face to ask what he could do to help. He has been very supportive of his students and wants to help students push forward in making a difference.
Photo Credit to Malonte Odom