Stand with the Student Rebels in Ferguson/St. Louis!

by Larry Everest | December 8, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Ferguson, December 6, 2014—An intense and crucial front is shaping up in the national battle against police murder and terror against Black people here in Ferguson/St. Louis area high schools. This past week witnessed an eruption of deep, passionate outpourings at high schools here, involving hundreds of students from at least 19 area high schools and middle schools. In walkouts, marches, schoolyard rallies and die-ins, students protested the grand jury’s refusal to indict Michael Brown’s murderer.

I was at one protest and it was clear that these high school students represent a very powerful force that is key to taking the nationwide struggle for an end to police terror to a higher level, and changing the whole political terrain. Students were literally dancing in the streets as they marched, their rhythmic energy and exuberance felt potentially uncontainable. Theirs was a deep desire to be taken seriously—that their lives and voices counted.

What happened to Michael Brown “could have happened to any of us,” one said. And these high school youths, particularly in oppressed communities, are often directly under the authorities’ boot, denied basic rights by a system that has no future for them and is trying to stomp the life out of them. Their actions are inspiring people broadly.

When students from the middle/upper middle class Clayton High walked out, one student said, “Just because we are, you know, wealthy and predominately white doesn’t mean that we’re not aware. We are a part of this issue.”

Walkouts and Repression

Ferguson, December 2

Ferguson, December 2

There were high school walkouts in the Ferguson/St. Louis area nearly every day this past week. At some schools, officials accompanied the students, and in some instances, that encouraged more students to take part. But students were fairly quickly bused back to campus, and in some cases warned they would be disciplined if they didn’t return, even though a significant number wanted to continue.

One student I talked with said his principal sat students down after a walkout. The principal said “he didn’t want to stop us from having our voices heard, but there was a better way than disrupting our education.” But the student I talked with insisted that no one [in authority] talks about the fact that Mike Brown had graduated and was going to go to college—and he was killed anyway. And then the media and the police just focused on the negative about him. All this was part of why he and other students were determined to do things. At home, this student’s family had been getting automated phone messages from the school district saying if students walk out again, there would be “severe consequences.”

Students at Hazelwood high schools walked out on December 2 and were confronted by police. Afterward, the school superintendent warned that the district would “not condone disruptive behavior.” In consultation with local police, the school district then imposed “security measures” that made the school feel like “a prison,” one student told the Huffington Post. “At lunch there are officers at every exit, and you can’t leave class to use the bathroom without a police escort.”

At other north St. Louis County schools, teachers and counselors have tried to channel students to be less confrontational. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, “Brandy Gioyard, a sophomore at McCluer North, said the demonstration was not just about Brown’s death, but ‘everything boiling over. They’ve been trying to keep us quiet. This is our chance to do something. It gives me confidence in our generation.’”

This is a time for everyone to come to the support of these courageous students and the teachers and others who back them. Demand that administrators and other authorities back off on their threats and punishments aimed at students who are doing what they should be doing—fighting to change the world.

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.